The weather here has been less than bliss-inducing, to say the least, which really effects the mood of the whole family. Usually there are two or three days I can pick up my two boys from school so they can run around and play with friends on the school property before heading home (as opposed to just riding the bus straight home.) It was rainy and icky all week so they missed out on that play time, and by the weekend it really showed. I’ve noticed this before~ if they have that free play time, they are far more centered, even on the following days, so the centered-ness stays really lasts a long time. Both my boys just seemed all wound up yesterday morning, and even though we made it to the park for a bit before bedtime, it was brief, and today my older more sensitive son woke up again all ‘off’. Nothing could change his mood indoors, so I knew what I had to do~ take him down to the park in the cold, windy, morning air for a walk, or run, or whatever got him happier. It took some convincing but he is old enough now to realize that those ‘mood changer’ park outings really work. It took about 20 minutes before I started hearing his voice move from whiny to joyful, which happened while in the damp, cold sandbox. (I had to keep circling the sandbox just to stay warm while he made a castle and then a Roman town.) He was “too exhausted” to do much physical~ he had worn himself out by getting frustrated with a painting he messed up earlier. After about 20 minutes in the sandbox though, he wanted to run around the track~ where he got hit in the arm by a careless soccer ball. This would have caused a total meltdown less than an hour before, but he just smiled and waved and said, “good thing it didn’t hit my head.” Oh yes. And it’s a very good thing we live by a park. Very good indeed.