When we don't have much time to get out and about as a family before one of my husband's classes at OSU-Tulsa or before I need to get to work on a blog post or freelance piece or counting the little brown moles on my arms (48 - much more on the right arm than the left, for some reason - and now if I'm ever a fugitive from the law, that will be in the description Cindy will have to give on the news), we head to a nearby park.
There are nearly a dozen city parks within a few miles' drive of our house, and that's the case for most Tulsans I know. We T-Towners are wealthy in beautiful parks - the City of Tulsa manages 125 of them, totaling about 6,000 acres, including nature centers, golf courses, Tulsa Zoo, Tulsa Garden Center, 21 swimming pools, 197 sports centers, 83 playgrounds, 109 tennis courts, 28 water playgrounds, The River Skatepark, 69 picnic shelters, 11 community centers, trails and more.
And boy, are we thankful. Because sometimes, there's nothing better for the soul than a good, long sit in the grass, a short walk on a wooded trail, a half-hour in the sun...
...or a baby kiss that, thanks to the wide-open spaces of a park near our humble abode, I get to look forward to for several yards of toddling.
See that look of determination and focus? That means: Get ready, baby, because here I come!
Just imagine the sound we all instinctively make at the doctor's office when s/he asks us to open wide. That's what my little boy's kisses sound like. Sort of a combination of the motor of an old duster plane and the sound my husband makes in the back of his throat when the alarm goes off in the morning.
There. Mission accomplished.