Summer, water, splash park, baby, child, little girl playing in water, park, arboretum, Dallas, Texas

Splash parks are so much fun. If you’re ever down, just go find your local park and listen for the laughter. This one, in the Dallas Arboretum, has giant frogs squirting water into the center, where anyone who cares to can stomp and splash and cool off in the Texas heat. As you can see, it provides endless entertainment if you’re two years old.

Heck, it provides entertainment no matter what age you are. I have to admit, as I watched her play I couldn’t help but giggle. Inside, the little girl I used to be giggled too, and urged me to join in. Oh how that inner child wanted to splash and run in the water!

At what age do we become too old for this sort of thing? What’s the magical line that, once crossed, means you aren’t allowed to experience this type of pure joy? If you were faced with this moment, would you jump right in? Could you, in the spur of the moment, forget about how icky jeans feel once they’re wet; forget about whether someone would steal your purse or if your phone would get wet; forget about all those adult responsibilities for just a moment and let that inner child out to play?

There must have been about twenty adults around this splash area. Not one of us stepped into the stream of water. We laughed and watched from the sidelines, but I could tell by the looks of longing on some of the faces that most of us wished, just for a moment, that we were that little girl.

What I wondered then, as I do now, is what held us back? Why didn’t we just jump in? Why didn’t I?

Clothes will dry. Hair will dry. Okay, maybe put the phone somewhere to keep it safe because it’s silly to ruin a perfectly good phone. But still.

I wish I’d jumped in. After I put my camera away in a dry place, of course.