Today was a pretty basic day. I over slept because I ended up falling asleep in my daughters bed after the second or third time she rolled out on to the floor from her bed while she was asleep. Sometimes it’s easier to just be there to prevent it from happening, even if it means I end up being very uncomfortable while trying (keyword being trying) to sleep.
The plan for this weekend was to head up north to visit my family back home, but with the weather promising us 60+ degrees this weekend and only a high of 38 up there… it was an easier decision to just stay and go explore. So, we headed out to Kenosha to check out the new adaptive/inclusive playground they built last year and went down to the lake front.
The playground was so busy that at first it was a little overwhelming. There had to have been 200 people or more there. As Emma and I made our way the groups of kids and adults, the look on Emma’s face and the vibe she was sending made my worries go away. I realized it was a safe playground for her.. one where I didn’t have to hover over her every step to help avoid a potential fall. Emma even got separated from me more than once, and although I had an initial feeling of panic and the urge to start yelling her name.. I took a step back and realized that there was only one exit from the playground and it was no where near us.. so a few quick glances at areas Emma could easily reach (ones that don’t require using a rope or ladder to get to), was all it took to find her, thankfully!
After the playground we headed down by the lakefront. Usually when we are in that area, Emma likes to walk out to the Light house or around by the rocks along the pier, it brings her a sense of calm and myself a sense of home, but there were so many people, we just kept following the road until we found a beach. Anything with sand will keep Emma busy and content for as long as you will let her play. I’m not sure if it’s a sensory input for her, but when she’s digging and building in the sand.. she is in her happy place. That is how I feel when I’m anywhere on Lake Michigan. It’s my happy place. There is no feeling that brings a better sense of calm than the feeling I get hanging out by the water.. the water that has no end in sight… it’s just so beautiful, and I wish I didn’t take it for granted as much as I did growing up.
Everyone I’m close to knows that I grew up on an Island. When you tell people you grew up on an Island they automatically think of sandy beaches and palm trees….that is not my Island. My Island is surrounded by Lake Michigan.. on all sides. For some reason tourists still ask if the Island is actually connected somewhere.. and ask where the bridges are when the don’t want to take a Ferry boat.. it really is surrounded by water and there really isn’t a bridge. If you miss that ferry, I hope you have a back up plan, because you are stuck for the night. Being stuck isn’t always a bad thing though, its like the old saying goes “Once you’ve slept on an Island, you’ll never be quite the same.”
I could go on and on about how wonderful the Island is, and how I miss it and everyone up there almost daily, but I’ll save that for another night since I still have some work to finish up tonight.