Tag Archives: children

Abercrombie Street Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for linking up with The Lounge!  This week, we’re talking ‘parks’. 

 

 The Lounge Logo

 

 

 

In the 1980s, a trip to the Abercrombie Street park was a rare treat. It didn’t happen on a daily basis, but when we were allowed to go, we’d tear down that hill, as fast as our little JC sandals could carry us.

 

 

 

 

Back then, parks with decent play equipment, were few and far between.  If you had a good one nearby – you were definitely lucky.

 

 

 

 

The Abercrombie Street park consisted of a see-saw – steel and a plank of wood, a set of swings – steel and a couple of planks of wood with chain, and a big, metal slippery dip.

 

 

 

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Our monumental slippery dip had sky-scraper dimensions.  For the few short-lived seconds of being at the top, you were king or queen of the world – the tallest person for miles, with a tail of kids lined up, waiting on the ladder beneath you, at your mercy.

 

 

 

 

Upon negotiating the steep angle of the slide and working up the courage to finally let go, you were catapulted down the metal surface at death-defying speed.  The exhilaration of the slide was epic, but it was all too brief.  The unavoidable conundrum of a good landing was always an issue.  Alighting at a short distance from the slide was the goal, but landing in the dirty ditch at its base upon dismount, was often the reality.

 

 

And God help you in the summer!  Summer brought with it an added slippery dip problem – the elation of a good quick slip down the slide, versus a well-seared bottom and a few potential tears…

 

 

 

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The see-saw, like the slide, was no mean feat.  If you shared the see-saw with a similarly sized kid, you’d be in park heaven – but those times, when a bigger bully would turn up, smirk and sit on the other side…  Those times were filled with terror.  The minutes felt like hours as you would hold on, as long as you could, up high up in the air.  Before too long however, you would inevitably start to inch down, splinters from the weathered plank of wood would inject your thighs and hands and you’d smudge your face with dirt, when wiping away the hot tears.

 

 

As I got older I learnt the reckless skill of slowly walking up a see-saw, then racing down the other side as it slammed to the ground.  Such skill required great balance and a dexterity that could only be achieved upon becoming a veteran of the park.

 

 

 

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The swing set was always my last stop.  A push-off from an older sibling or neighbour and I was set, gliding through the air as high as I could go.  The freedom of swinging engaged my imagination, but by far, the best benefit was the chance to cool down and rest my hot face against the cold chain before the long, hot walk back up the hill.

 

 

 

The Abercrombie Street park was a proper park!

 

If you fell, it hurt.  If you didn’t get a turn, you didn’t get a turn.

 

 

 

 

No synthetic soft landings, no plastics, no colour, no canopies, no barriers, no fencing, no safety standards, no litigation.

 

Just grass, trees and a bit of wood and metal.

 

 

 

As far as we were concerned, it could’ve been Disneyland.

 

 

 

 

Parks have changed.  What was your park like when you were growing up?

 

 

 

 

 

Love,

 

Robo X

 

 


Driving and crying

Every day I call my babysitter to check on my kids.  During today’s call, I was told that my son was not well.  He was a little warm in the morning but I gave him Panadol and he seemed to settle. Now he was running a fever and he was asking for his Mama.   

 

Within the hour, I received a call telling me that Mr 4 had vomited and had to go to the doctor.  He was still asking for his Mama.

 

Admittedly and I hate to say this, I was annoyed. 

I know my son is sick, I know he needs his mother and I know he must visit the doctor. 

But in that moment all I could think about were deadlines I need to meet and the entire role I need to learn before I change position next year. 

I was so incredibly busy at work, I could barely even stop to take the phone call telling me that my son needed medical attention.

 

Guilt.

I felt that stifling guilt a working mother feels when she’s torn between children and her job.  I visualised the eye-rolling and knowing glances that some staff members would share.  

‘I’ll show them’, I thought, Robomumming out of the office with an enviro-bag full of marking and lesson preparation.

 

 

 Mr 4 was asleep on the lounge.  He was frightfully hot and groggy.  His face was burning and his usually perfect lips, were dry.  I picked up his frail little body and rushed him to the GP.

“I missed ya, Mama”, he said when he woke up in the waiting room.

 

My heart sank more than it usually does when he says this.

 

I stroked his hair away from his hot little face and held him tightly in my arms.

I noticed some spots near his neck and on closer inspection I saw that they formed a rash that stretched across his torso and between his shoulder blades. 

 

My God in Heaven help me

 

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It turns out that Mr 4 most likely has a throat infection, (we’re waiting on results) and the rash is something that should be monitored closely but more than likely is temperature related.

 

Thank you, God.

 

I cried all the way home. 

Driving and crying. 

The more I saw that sleepy boy’s head bobbing around in his booster seat, the more upset I became.

 

 

I wouldn’t ever put anything before my children but today, the prospect of leaving work was intolerable.   Even if just for a few brief minutes, why did I put fucking deadlines before the health of my child?

We’re home now.  Mr 4 is a bit better and I’m just hanging out with him on the lounge being silly and making him giggle.  His temperature is still high but he’s improving and the rash is fading.  The enviro-bag of work is still on the front seat of my car, destined to stay there until tomorrow. 

Instead of working, I thought I’d take a few brief minutes to reflect and share today’s lesson. Parent, partner, sibling or friend, it’s important to slow down and consider our priorities, ensure they are in the correct order.

 

Am I alone on this one?  Or are you willing to admit you drive and cry too?

 

Robomum X