When I am at the playground, I am often encouraged, by other parents, to let my child go and play on his own. They don’t come out and say this so directly but convey the message in other ways. I’ve heard “don’t worry, your child can’t get hurt on this playground,” “isn’t it nice that the kids can be independent here?” and other such well-meaning, gently phrased thoughts. When what they really mean is, “lady chill out, let your kid have fun. Without you being two feet away from him at all times!!!!”
This is often conveyed to me when the person who brought us to the park steps away for a moment—I can’t drive us there, lol. I’m sure it probably looks weird. A grown woman following closely—very closely—behind a two-year-old. I know they have good intentions. Mom’s have a lot of stress and relaxing while your child is entertained is a pretty good idea. Unfortunately, I cannot. Being within visual distance of your child is drastically reduced when you are visually impaired.
When the above situation arises, I typically try to explain in the most sensitive way possible—most people feel very badly once they realize the reason for my hovering.
It’s not easy going through the little tunnels or running from one side of the jungle gym to the other, but it can be fun—and a good workout! I also get to experience the playground like a child again. I get to be my child’s playmate. My vision forces me to get up close and personal with my son’s world, and I like what I see.