We were driving to a friend’s house the other day when we noticed an unusual sign. It was one of those warning signs, a yellow diamond shaped sign with a black silhouette designed to slow traffic.
It said “Slow Children at Play” and had a design of two kids on a seesaw.
“A SEESAW?” Sierra said incredulously. “The symbol for kids is a seesaw? Who plays on seesaws anymore?”
I had to admit she had a point. A see saw is just one out of many types of playground equipment that I managed to survive. I also survived those whirling things that we sat on and spun around in circles until we were about to lose our afternoon snacks. Of course, in hindsight, I realize that I’m one of the lucky few to have made it through countless hazards of childhood relatively intact.
Most folks might recall that there was a pair of slides locally that were pretty darn scary. Or maybe I was the only one scared to climb up those spiraling stairs to the top of the twin slides in Landa Park. Sierra was about five years old the first time she begged me to go on that slide set.
This was back in the day when I had this crazy theory that I needed to encourage my daughter to be brave by demonstrating that there was nothing to fear. I wanted to teach her to face her fear, whether it was lady bugs or dirt. Unfortunately I failed to make the “ridiculously tall slide” exception.
As we were going up the ladder, I took note of the 5,000 ways I could injure myself on this slide. I wondered if our medical insurance would refuse to cover my hospital bills since clearly I should know better. It seemed likely that my claims adjuster was going to deny my bills, citing some sort of “you got to be kidding me” clause.
Frankly the slide down from the lofty height was rather anti-climactic. Then we had to climb back up the OTHER side and mommy nearly hyperventilated.
The crazy tall twin slides are long since gone, replaced with safer options. So are most seesaws and whirly-go-rounds in playgrounds. It seems like highway department may need to update those signs on my friend’s street, since plenty of kids born after 1980 won’t have a clue what a seesaw looked like.
I’d like to suggest they could go with a nice, low profile slide instead.