I used to joke that duplo was the reason I had children.
And playing on swings.
Except that, for the most part, I wasn’t really joking.
There are some things that are easier to do without raising eyebrows when you have kids.
One of my most favourite dates with my husband, before we got serious, was meeting him at midnight at a local playground in our hometown to play on the swings. I know that sounds a little dubious. I swear, nothing untoward happened. We just swang on the swings and slid down the slippery dip.
We were completely sober, it was a weeknight. We had met a few weeks beforehand and we were in the first throes of love. The thing that made it a moment that has stayed with me for nearly a decade is the innocent abandon we felt.
We could be children again, we could laugh at nothing more than kicking our heels up on the swings, trying to go as high as we could.
Having children gives us the same opportunity to be children again, in some ways.
After all, who else is going to teach your child how to swing themselves on the swing or show them that the big slippery dip is worth the heart-pumping fear you feel at the top as you set yourself down and push yourself off?
There’s something in that moment with your children that connects you both to your children and to your own childhood.
I got to share that moment with a range of families in January.
We got together at a high ropes challenge course, located at the back of the Sydney Aquatic Centre. Take your suburban flying fox, lift it up several metres and add some serious rope climbing around it and you can draw a mental picture for yourself.
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There was botchi (boules, for those of you from the southern states), totem tennis and a spot of croquet. There were bubbles to blow and paints for faces. There was water and hats and sunscreen.