When it comes down to it, I have two choices.
1. I could sit here on this park bench, which is in the sunshine and giving me a much-needed boost of vitamin D. And I could read my book, which I have been waiting to start for several weeks now but haven't found the time.
2. I could get off the bench and play with my son.
It's not really that simple, since there are the additional variables to consider. How many other children are at the park? I really want my son to practice making friends (or at the very least, start asking children their names, which he always forgets to do because whatever running around game is way more important than introductions and they all end up calling each other "hey you").
If there are other children in the park, are any his age? My son does a really great job of following the rule of "Watch out for anyone smaller than you," but eventually he gets tired of playing with younger children.
Am I supposed to follow the prime directive and observe but not interfere? There are lots of times when my son just wants me to see all the big things he can do now.
Or maybe all these are excuses and I should just get up and start playing with my son at the park. Sure, I am too tall to be on the equipment and he wines like crazy when I'm out of breath and need a break and eventually I have a flock of children I don't know following me around the park, but the fact is that it is better for both of us.
It's true: Children's activity levels are boosted when Mom or Dad join in the game. And, let's face it, I could use the exercise as well.
Guess my book will have to wait. I have a game of tag to start.
What's your favorite game to play at the park with your children? Tell me in the comments.