The sun’s rays broke through the clouds and shone down on the sea of small children playing in Cosmopolitan Park. It seemed like the first day of spring, not two days after Christmas.
Vigilant moms and dads stood guard by empty strollers as their children scurried through yellow plastic tunnels and slid down orange tube slides. A hint of winter air tingled nostrils with its fresh, earthy scent.
At one point, the ground wood-chip lining would have been thick. Mud-laden feet succumb to what’s left, now sparse and scattered.
While last week’s bitter weather kept the park eerily silent, Tuesday brought the shrill sounds of happy children.
A flash of pink shirt, khaki pants and shoulder-length hair moved fast across the playground to a tube slide. The flash shouted from the ladder, “Mom, are you ready?” before zooming head-first down the slide. Out the other side, the huge, full teeth-baring smile was the first you’d see of Ella Margaret Ross.
Her mother, Meghon Ross, kept a watchful eye over her 4½-year-old daughter.
“I only let her fall once,” Meghon Ross said playfully.
As quick as she was there, Ella Margaret was gone, on to the next fascinating piece of playground equipment.