Apr 16, 2014

A Saturday at Railroad Park

I've written about it many times before, but we are so, so fortunate to have a park as beautiful as Railroad Park in Birmingham.

Nick asks to go almost every weekend, because it's one of only a couple of places in town that has designated skateboarding spots.

When they built Railroad Park, they included three concrete "bowls" specifically for bike and skateboard tricks.

The boys are much more daring in the bowls on their bikes than they are on their boards ... and I'm GLAD they're more careful on their boards.

On this particular Saturday -- about a month ago -- I toted all the kids downtown for the afternoon while Grayson was doing something else, and I spent the bulk of my time watching Nathaniel and Nick skateboard while explaining to Amelia and Jake why they couldn't run off by themselves, unsupervised, and do whatever they wanted to without me.

Speaking of Jake, Jamie has a little bit of a thing for that one:

She thinks he's a little bit of a charmer ... and pretty easy on the eyes.

He IS adorable, but markedly less so when he's in your face for the fiftieth time asking how much longer it will be before you will take him to the ice cream truck.

The playground and the ice cream truck were basically the only things that Jakey and Amelia were interested in.

Once I'd given Nathaniel and Nick an hour at The Bowls, I told Jake and Amelia we could head over to the playground. Amelia took off like a shot.

Of course, the boys never let her get too far away from them.

She and Jake played on the playground while the big boys skateboarded on the adjacent sidewalk for a while ...

And then eventually the big boys came in to play for a little while, too.

There are so many people in Birmingham who've never been to Railroad Park ... it makes me sad. There are families who are afraid to come downtown. They have no idea what they're missing! Honestly, this park is such a GEM.

As we were finishing up on the west side of the park, Jake ran down the Lawn Terraces, one of his very favorite things to do.

Then we looped all the way back around to the far east side of the park to the Amphitheatre. The boys had asked to bring their plastic sleds in the hopes that they'd be able to slide down the big hill.

They tried hard. Really, really hard. But that hill was having NONE OF IT.

So they moved over to another side of the hill, a smaller -- but steeper -- side. And they attracted an audience. And audience that believed in audience participation.

I was really proud of the boys for sharing without complaint, though. Especially because I wouldn't call that their forté.

We had no idea who these little girls were, but they were friendly and they obviously wanted to play with the boys. And they REALLY wanted to ride on our sleds.

It's hard to tell, but I think they had a good time.

The kids did well taking turns ... although the afternoon wasn't without its arguments.

One thing I can always count on is that if something seems Perfectly Fine, Nick will find a way to take it up a notch. LIKE SO.

It wasn't until I got to the third picture in this series featuring Nathaniel ...

that I noticed ...

... that Amelia was in the sled with him. She definitely didn't want to be left out.

It was a full day. It was a good day.

One I wouldn't mind repeating.

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