It's our last day of fall break. So for a special treat I decided to take the children to a new park. We have hardly gone anywhere the past seven months, so a new park would be a real treat! It's a park I've seen people posting pictures of but somehow we've never managed to find (in our defense it only opened last year, so I guess it's fairly new to . Finally I pulled it up on the map and figured things out.
It's really the "city green," a little social area behind some shops. There were signs directing us to park in the "parking deck," but I just couldn't find a spot I thought I could pull into, but after a little bit of a panic attack I managed to find this spot that was close enough to being in the parking deck that I thought it counted as such:
Yes, I know there are several spots visible inside the parking deck but...I left them for someone who feels like they can park in a parking garage.
As we were approaching the park area we heard the distinct murmuring of many voices and I was afraid it would be too crowded for us to stay. But the voices were coming from the cafes (which were packed) and not the playground area, which was lovely.
We mostly had the place to ourselves. The clouds were rather stunning today, I thought:
Benjamin really liked this tall slide on a hill (covered in fake turf) that reminded me of something out of Teletubbies. Alexander and Zoë were a little intimidated by the slide and instead slid down the hill on their stomachs or bottoms. At least I didn't have to worry about grass stains!
I don't think Miriam had feelings one way or the other, but she did go down a few times (and tried to convince Zoë and Alexander to go with her (they would not be persuaded)).
This climbing structure was pretty popular with the kids:
While the green climbing structure is, perhaps, more aesthetically pleasing, the kids did more climbing on this orange one:
Alexander especially enjoyed this bit of the park:
It was nice to see friends, I guess, but it was also upsetting. We don't usually run into friends at the park (this is our first time running into anyone we've known at any park in seven months) and it just...was hard to deal with. The kids wanted to play with each other, like normal, but also knew they couldn't and/or shouldn't. Miriam and Andie took a few laps of the path together, Benjamin was off playing with Carter, Zoë was happy to run around with Kate for a few minutes.
Masks were a complication as well because although my children know they are free to take of their masks when no one is around, they also know they need to put on their masks if they're around others. But our friends didn't have masks (hardly anyone had masks), which made it harder to enforce that rule (Benjamin probably asked me a million times if he could take off his mask).
So really I was just stressed out during our whole interaction that I wanted to break down and cry.
And I don't think I'm overreacting. Yesterday we had over 80,000 cases in the United States, and while it's true that the mortality rate is decreasing (really—not as many people are dying, which is great news), people are still dying (and still at a rather high rate).
And now it's going to be harder to tell our friends, "Sorry, but we are social distancing..." when they know they ran into us at the park. But the thing is that we are typically very careful not to interact with anyone at the park. So I'm just kind of sad and confused by the whole interaction and...am still not signing up for the Relief Society "super Saturday" crafting activity, which is scheduled to take place indoors. Sorry, but I'm just not. I feel like I can't commit to any plans because I don't know what the infection rate is going to look like in just a couple of weeks...and so I also don't think we should be planning for and advertising for activities that could potentially be super spreader events.
This pandemic is, in a word, hard.
Here are a few more pictures of the kids using the big slide:
Or, in Alexander's case, the big hill: