By Cheryl Bac
E-mail Cheryl Bac
About this blog: I'm a wife, stay-at-home mom, home cook, marathon runner, and PhD. I recently moved to the Silicon Valley after completing my PhD in Social Psychology and becoming a mother one month apart. Before that, I ran seven marathons incl... (More)
About this blog: I'm a wife, stay-at-home mom, home cook, marathon runner, and PhD. I recently moved to the Silicon Valley after completing my PhD in Social Psychology and becoming a mother one month apart. Before that, I ran seven marathons including Chicago and Boston. Exercise is an integral part of my life. I hope to one day go back to long distance running and tackle the New York City Marathon. Right now I run after my one year old son. Although I am a stay-at-home mom, we are rarely "at home." My mom also stayed at home with my brother and me. She warned me that, although rewarding, it can be isolating. So, with her help, I learned the importance of getting out into the community and meeting other mothers. On the rare occasion when I am at home and have a hand or two free, I squeeze in time to scrapbook. As a new mom, many challenges are thrown my way. I hope my opinions, triumphs, and struggles help experienced parents reminisce, new parents cope, and parents-to-be get an honest glimpse of what the first years of motherhood can entail. (Hide)
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A couple of weeks ago I read an article
about a mother and son duo who took it upon themselves to visit all of the city parks in their vicinity. The only requirement was that the park had playground equipment - 78 met that criteria.
The mother was desperate to find free entertainment for her one-year-old as she paid off her student loans and other life expenses. Unable to afford swimming lessons and other classes, she turned to the city parks.
Reading about this mother turning her son into the "king of the slides" was a wonderful reminder to be grateful for our fantastic local parks.
In the Bay Area we have such an abundance of wonderful parks to choose from that we can be extremely picky. Before my son was walking, we were drawn to the parks with large grassy areas (like Peers and Mitchell). Our kids could play with a couple of toys on a park blanket and we parents could chat. As our children became more mobile, we started to venture to parks with sand, water features and bucket swings (like Johnson and Pardee). And while pregnant with our second child, I enjoyed parks that didn't require me to climb up on the structures in order to play with and/or supervise my son (like Heritage).
As I adjust to taking care of two little ones, there is something so inviting about going to a park. Unlike a scheduled class, there is no exact start or end time, no worries about either kid being too loud, and no specific agenda - just play!
I'm not sure which parks will become our favorites during this transition from a family of three to a family of four. But I know my son will enjoy the hunt!
Which local parks are your favorites? Have they changed as your kids got older or as your family grew?