Sunday, June 20, 2010

fresh air

When you live in an apartment, you have to find space wherever you can. Our new place is considerably bigger than our last apartment and we have a huge balcony, so the kids play “outside” more than they could before. But if you’re stuck in your house all day, every day, you can go stir crazy. Especially if you’ve got two little ones underfoot.
The middle school I went to was in the middle of the city and because of that, there was limited space. It had a nice gym, but there was no ground-space for an outdoor playground. So we played on the roof. There’s a big fenced in basketball court and two smaller areas to hang out. I don’t know if there still is, but there was a greenhouse, too. Talk about using space!
There are very few playgrounds here – and even fewer quality playgrounds. Getting out is hard. We got to the park and play with balls and bubbles and we walk around the neighborhood, but that is all a lot of effort from me. And sometimes I just want to sit back and watch. You know, without the responsibility of blowing the bubbles or bouncing the ball.
Our last place didn’t have a door to the roof and part of it was open, with no wall. We couldn’t play there. It even scared me to take Samil with me to hang the laundry. But this place has a great roof. It’s completely enclosed with a pretty high wall and the stairs have a metal gate. The only little problem is that it is a mess! There is a huge pile of left-over construction dirt/sand/gravel and every time the wind blows or it rains it gets scattered all over.
It’s my pet project now, though, and we’ve been spending time on the roof almost every day. We’ve moved up some of our plants with the idea of getting more up there soon. I take up some water and toys and the kids play while I sweep what I can and collect bags of dirt. I pulled out the sidewalk chalk and they’ve been chalking up a storm.
The plan for the roof is a little garden area to give Samil and Amely the experience of growing things – and the responsibility of taking care of it (well , Samil for now). I want to put a little plastic pool and have the floor debris-free enough to take the tricycles up there, too.
It’s amazing how creative we get with space when it’s limited. I hope my project turns out and that the kids like being outside more!

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