We had gorgeous weather the other day and decided to check out a local park that I had heard good things about, but had never been to. (I will put a review of the park at the bottom of this post for those who are interested.)
My kids are social. They like most people and are quick to say hi and engage even strangers. For the most part I love this about them. I like that they are quick to befriend and accept all children and most adults. I like that people enjoy being with my kids because of this trait. I like that they don’t have a hard time when it comes to separating from me, saving all of us from the heartache those tears often cause.
While the girls were playing, before I realized what was happening, Nora walked over to another mother and asked her for one of her chips. And a little later, she asked this older man to help her get a drink of water from the drinking fountain. Both adults were very nice people, also enjoying the park with their families, so there was no huge cause for concern on this particular day. But, sometimes I cringe at the extreme lack of fear and readiness to engage strangers that both of my kids have.
I have joked on a couple of occasions that it would not be hard for someone to kidnap my kids. Which isn’t really funny. And isn’t that far from the truth. Which scares me.
I struggle with these emotions. My kids are 3 and 2 years old. They don’t know that there are monsters in this world. And I don’t want them to – ever, if I can help it. Although, I know that is not realistic.
I don’t know exactly what the right course of action is as their mother. I don’t want to scare them into no longer approaching strangers and while I do talk to them about what I see as the best behaviors for them to practice in these moments, I don’t want to lay it on too thick because I don’t want to stifle the wonderfully loving and accepting little people that they are.
I guess until they are older, I will just have to keep an eye out for the monsters on their behalf and pray to God that we don’t ever actually encounter any.
And now, on a light note, my review.
Alms Park is located up the hill from Columbia Parkway, off of Tusculum Ave. It’s not too far from Ault Park for those of you familiar with the Cincinnati area. It is really beautiful. On one end, it has an overlook of Lunken Airport and on the other an overlook of the river. It has several little pagodas, beautiful flowers, and a castle-like house that holds decent enough bathrooms (which is important to those of you with potty-trained or recently potty trained kids). Surrounded by magnificent old trees, I have heard it is amazing in the fall.
There are also the usual playground suspects… swings, slides, monkey bars and other things for the kids to climb. The girls had a really good time exploring the grounds. But, the signature feature of this park is the recently refurbished concrete slide. The whole family had a good time playing on this slide.
Bottom line: We had a nice, fun family afternoon and we will go again.