There is a park near our house that captivates Jacob. I'm not sure why. It has a lame play structure. There are never any kids there. And we live just as close to a much better park. This one park is located at the intersection of two busy streets. Because of this, we never take Jacob there. When Jacob was not even two years old, my husband told him, "We don't go to that park. There is too much traffic. It's too noisy." Ever since then, Jacob has accurately dubbed that park "Noisy Park."
Jacob's contantly begging us to take him to Noisy Park. I'm pretty sure that 90% of the allure of the park must be in the fact that we simply don't take him there. We have been there just one time in the four years of Jacob's life. That was when he was 2 and he still talks fondly of that day and remembers every detail of our trip. (Jacob has the world's best memory. He remembers things that I don't remember--"Mommy, remember one time when I was two and we went to that store and I was wearing my green shirt?").
This weekend, I sucked it up, loaded the wagon, and took the kids to Noisy Park.
And the park is still lame. But kids...eh. Give them an open field.
Or a worm.
Or a flower.
Or even just a rickety old swing set.
And they will be entertained for hours.
I love the picture of Jacob holding a worm. It sums up everything I love about boys. Jacob was mid-swing when he saw it with his falcon-like vision wriggling five feet away deep within the bark. If there is a worm within spitting distance, Jacob will find it. He stopped the swing, dug through the bark, and picked it up without hesitation. You know, 'cause that's what you do when you find a worm! He held it out to me as part of some grand, selfless gesture.
Someday, I will be very sad when there are no longer any little boys to bring me worms.