Peter and I had been poring over the Sunday circulars in the paper all spring looking for a backyard play set.

The choices were overwhelming from simple metal swing sets to elaborate monstrosities. 

Seriously, a few had more square feet than our first home, nicer amenities, and the payments on the play system might have been even larger than our mortgage at the time.

We imagined what it would be like to live in one of those.

 "Honey, time for dinner!"

 "Be right there.." whoosh down the winding tube slide.

We could eat lunch in the makeshift cafe with the stools and little canopy.  Climb up the fake rock wall on the way to bed. 

We researched them, set aside savings, read reviews and safety regulations  - the works.  

Yes, we declared! Summer 2010  would be Swing set summer!

That is until we had a series of epiphanies.  

  • On  neighborhood strolls we noticed that most backyard play sets were sitting unused and  lonely. 
  • When we had friends with kids over I apologized for our lack of backyard fun. But the kids stampeded off the deck and played like a pack of cubs until dusk with just a ball and a wagon.  Hmmmm.
  • We have a playground a block away. It's been a great way to meet  other neighbors with kids (AND that's where we met our new  fantabulous neighborhood babysitting sisters!

Now summer 2010 will just be Save our money and be social  summer!

 

So maybe our neighborhood is an anomoly. Do your kids play on your backyard playsets?