A few weeks ago, we began a landscaping project on our backyard. Though "began" is a bit misleading. Saying "we hired someone to come in and finish a job we started five years ago but were too unmotivated to finish" would be much more accurate, but then you might get the impression that we are lazy and would rather spend our summers drinking beer on the patio than planting trees and laying sod. Which would be true.
Somewhere in the design process of this job, the topic of whether or not to install a playground area arose. Since we live within walking distance to several parks, we didn't think it was critical. Then our landscaper showed us several projects where they created more natural "playgrounds" for children using large boulders, dirt, and plantings. And when the kids inevitably outgrow the need for a play area, you're left with a beautiful landscape rather than a trip to the dump to relocate a broken-down swingset.
So it was decided: No playground, just hardscape. And Mike and I were relieved that our marriage had somehow dodged the bullet known as Assembling Play Equipment With Your Spouse.
And the kids reaction? Well, let's just say over the last 10 days that these giant boulders (120-tons of them, to be exact!) have started popping up in our backyard, there is rarely a night the kids aren't happily scrambling all over them. They climb, jump, hide and seek, have Nerf gun wars, and stage time trials around the giant obstacle course. We may pay for it in trips to the ER, but these kids are going to be Everest-ready in no time!
The other night after dinner they were frolicking in the rocks while a summer storm was brewing, stirring up mini dust storms in the expanses of exposed dirt. Not wanting to cut their playtime short due to weather, they resourcefully donned ski goggles to protect their eyes and went about their shennanigans.
And why were they wearing ski hats and scarves on a 90-degree summer evening? Um, I opted not to ask. After all, they were willingly posing for photos and inadvertedly providing me with lots of new material for scrapbook pages, so I skipped any opportunity to question their fashion choices. This "smart and resourceful" thing? It's gotta be genetic.