Five for Ten: Lust

May 16, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Posted in Five for Ten, Giggles, Lollipop | 18 Comments
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Triangle-wedge staircases. Plastic-jungle platforms. Tunnels: red ones, green ones, yellow ones, mesh ones.

Right there. In front of him.

They are so big. He is so small. But.

He wants to climb. Wants to see the world from Way Up There. Wants to swoosh down. Wants to feel the prickle of static on his neck, in his hair.

Look at the other kids. There they go. Up, up, up. Down, down, down.

Playground lust. He has it bad.

He checks the cubby. His prized Thomas the Train shoes are pushed into a bottom corner. Safe. He looks up again at the other children, at his big sister. How badly he wants to be where they are.

He puts one maroon sock-foot in front of the other.

And here he is. He climbs onto the first triangle stair, eyes the next one. He puts down one chubby palm and raises a gray-corduroyed knee. Left, right, left, right, up, up, up.

Look at him! Here he goes! Up! Oh! Joy!

He stoops down. Reconnoiters. Motors through the mesh tunnel. The orange slide beckons!

Here he is! At the top! He eyes the white circle of concrete below. He swings his legs into position. Prepares to launch.

Wait. Stop. Rain.

Water from the early morning storm is puddled all around him. Soaking his pants. Dashing his slide dreams.

The tears start and won’t stop. He wants down. He wants off. He wants to be anywhere but here.

But he can’t remember how.

The other children coax him, soothe him. This way! His sister, too. She brings him a tiny wisp of napkin to wipe away the pooled rainwater.

It’s too small. The puddle, too big. That’s okay. Come this way! she says. But he can’t.

Just as Daddy stuffs himself into the orange slide and begins the rescue climb, he realizes the answer. Back the way he came.

Through the mesh tunnel. Down the triangle stairs. But slowly, deliberately, with plenty of tears.

Finally, he is down. Daddy is waiting with a hug. And a tissue.

Held firm in Daddy’s arms, he looks up. Triangle-wedge staircases. Plastic-jungle platforms. Many-colored tunnels.

Right there. In front of him.

So close. So far.

Playground lust. He has it bad.


Read more about lust over at Momalom’s Five for Ten.



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  1. Oh, I’ve been there! I love these posts from the POV of kids. There have been a few this Five for Ten. So creative. And those moments that end with daddy–what IS it about those moments? Love it.

  2. Great perspective: playground lust. We’ve all had it, I’m sure. Love this. =)

  3. As the mother of two boys (now young men) this resonated with my heart. I remember those day. This is beautiful. Thank you.

  4. I remember when my boy was so small and the “big boys” would terrorize the slides. Man I hated those big boys. Fun-wreckers. Now my boy is big.

    I try to help him not be a “big boy” but boys have big energy and there is nothing like the lust of playground fun for burning some off.

    Good thing we get older…see things from more points of view…and add compassion to every situation. Even the slide.

  5. You really captured this well! My daughter is love/lust with the swings at school. Your reminded me of that.

  6. You captured this really well. Moments like this…it’s crazy how heart-wrenching they are, considering what a simple dilemma it is. But then you look at it from your child’s perspective and you realize it IS a big deal.

  7. You made me think of the summer my son was 12 months. It was such a joy to watch discover, but it made my heart ache when he just couldn’t keep up. Thanks for this amazing Sunday morning memory.

  8. Playground lust! What fun! This brought back sweet memories.

    But I will say that while it is bittersweet to have a nearly empty nest, I’m glad I’m almost done with all the years of focusing entirely on kids… I’d like my lustful longings to find their own way, and a different sort of playground!


  9. Love this, Stacia!

  10. Haha. I love that. “Playground Lust. He has it bad”

  11. What a great analgogy for life in general – we see, we want, we try to figure out how to get what we want. But the difference often between adult and child is that the child will not give up and if at first they do not succeed, they will try, try and try again. So much to admire and so much to learn from our children.

    Lovely post Stacia – I hope you and your new little achiever Bun are doing well

  12. I’ve seen playground lust in action, and it’s heartbreaking!
    Loved the perspective on this 🙂

  13. I remember this with my kids in the plastic jungle-gym-love, making us mad, making us crazy days, and I remember this as a kid, when monkey bars were metal and the steel slide blazed spanking hot in the summer sun and when there was no backing down from the top of that bad boy as the other kids waited their turn with cruel impatience on the iron grilled steps.

    I love how your kids-eye-view triggers memory in such an immediate way, at least for me. Thanks.

  14. Bravo. I loved this!

  15. Excellent choice for “lust.”

  16. What I love about this is the picture of your family playing together and encouraging the little guy. Everyone-big sis and dad-helping him navigate the world.

  17. Oh, this is sweet. And it’s hard to see their disappointment in wanting – and not quite being able – to have the big kid fun. I got some experience in that playground lust last night with Jack at the park, where he wanted nothing more than to slide for two hours straight.

  18. Beautiful story and a great life lesson. Yay for dad’s to wipe away the tears!

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