There’s a park about 20 minutes from our house that is relatively new.
It was constructed to enable play for all kids…those with disabilities and those without.
I love this concept...nurturing our kids to look past each other’s handicaps and just see that on the most basic level, we are all just human. Kids are Kids.
The equipment is brand-new and super cool. There are 3 sets of swings and massive jungle gyms with different themes. There are outdoor percussion instruments, which I will admit, I enjoyed more than Mercer. (Really, how often do you get to play an xylophone?).
What I realized in watching everyone is that the park isn't only designed for kids of all kinds...it's designed for adults of all kinds. We saw a man in a wheelchair who didn’t have legs. And because of the way this park was constructed, with wide paths and sturdy rubber “flooring", it made it easier for him to enjoy pushing his son on the swings. They had these giant smiles on their faces as he pushed him higher and higher. It made my heart swell so much and I got all teary watching them.
Mercer was a little small for a lot of the equipment. He loves the swings and the roller slide. But he mostly enjoyed having the freedom to run and having Mom chase after him. This is normally pretty easy…except when I realized he could run under things way shorter than I can. During one of the chases, I was about chasing him on my knees as he ducked under a low jungle gym (laughing all the way).
On our way out…we met up with our Wheelchair friend and Mercer was admiring his wheels. And when I mentioned this to him, he just smiled and said, “All the kids love them” and wheeled off.