Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Playground

I met my friend Sarah and her two kids at the park yesterday. I don't have many friends with young children that live around here so it was fun to talk kid stuff...and Sarah's just really cool. Her adorable kids are five and two so I got a snapshot of what life will be like when Maxwell and Ella are a bit older. You know, things like playground etiquette and other people's kids. As the babies rolled around on a blanket we watched Sarah's kids enjoy the play structure. We were commenting on how crazy it was to have the whole playground to ourselves, and just then a curly haired munchkin came blazing around the corner, kite in hand. Cute as the kid looked, I'm still not completely sure if it was a girl or boy. Actually, the child looked strikingly like a lost boy from Peter Pan. Anyhow, lost boy charges up to Sarah's daughter and starts flailing with very animated gestures. Sarah calmly approaches the two, wondering where the hell lost boy's mom was making sure her daughter is comfortable. Mid sentence, lost boy pulls out a sawed off screwdriver and begins to wave it frantically in their faces. "It's my sword!", he yells. Oh my. Shortly after, his mother rounds the corner, ironically wearing a shirt with a peace sign and a tattooed dove on her arm. She approaches us and plops down on our blanket. "Ohhhh, I just looove babies!!!," she tells us as she reaches for Ella's hand. I'm trying to act cool but really all I'm thinking is every one's sick, don't get my baby sick! Soon after she joins the group she came with and lost boy moves on to terrorize other children with his shank- I mean sword.

It really wasn't that big of a deal, but it made me realize what we're in for in the next few years. And it made me so grateful that I get to be the one taking my kids to the playground. So I can watch them like a hawk. But really, what do you do? Isn't this where fostering independence and discernment begins? On the playground? I want to provide my kids with choices. What if they chose lost boy as their friend, quirky as he may be? I know it's my job to interfere when their safety is at stake, but what if their friends just bug? I'll have to get over it. But for now, I'm happy we're still on the blanket at the playground.

1 comment:

Sarah R.Conley said...

Im still laughing! It is funnier reading it from your perspective.. LOL! I guess Im just used to the madness... but honestly, strangers should not have to guess if your 5 year old is a He or a She. And who the heck gives thier kid a screwdriver as a toy....?????? yeah, that was pretty wierd.