Heading Down the Big Slide


The big slide

Lizzie starting on a ride down the big slide on the hill at a park in Norwich, England.

I don’t recall the name of the park, but it was in Columbia, Missouri. When Audrey and I were in graduate school, now and then one of us would end up having to spend some time with the kids in Columbia, or we would meet for a picnic lunch, and this park was a favorite place.

It had a small lake, but that wasn’t the park’s true attraction. It also had a tall play hill. A slide with three chutes had been built into the hill, the longest chute going from the summit down into a sandy play area at the bottom.

I thought of that park today in Norwich. We spend part of the day at several different parks, the final one being a quite neighborhood play area with a slide built on a hillside.

The advantage of this design is you can have a pretty steep slide, but also not have it far from the ground, since if follows the slope of a hill.

This particular slide had a paved area beside it, and besides riding the slide, Lizzie liked to pick pine cones and sticks and send them tumbling down the area beside the slide.

Slides are an interesting plaything. They are a test of children’s climbing ability and their bravery. Kids learn early how to go down, sometimes on their tummy before they learn to sit.

There was a young English girl at the park today, a bit younger than Lizzie, I think. She watched Lizzie going down the slide, and it took some time before she was ready to go down herself.

But, eventually, she did. And she liked it. Like so many fun things in life, slides appear more scary than they are.

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