Fun Time
November 3, 2005, 6:47 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Today Cassidy had a half day of school due to parent/teacher conferences. So we had ample amounts of time to spend in the park before it got dark. And spend it we did. While I tire of the park in about three minutes, afterall I have been at this park thing since Loren was wee -so that means nearly 11 years of good park time, Cassidy and Devon can stay at the park ALL afternoon. And since I am not comfortable leaving my eight year old with my toddler, I resign myself to hours and hours of chase, tether ball, small chat with Other Parents, and -my favorite- Other Parent Observation. Today I had two highlights in this endeavor.

The first was a Mary Kay Olsen look alike -except a bit taller. She had the long quilty coat, the HUGE, hip bug eye glasses, small, cropped sweater under the coat, low rider pants and some sort of clunky shoes. Fabulous, highlighted hair in some sort of mussed pony tail, she was amazingly hip. And in the park. Her kids were equally as cute: blond, bowl cut boys in chunky sweaters. They all arrived eating ice cream cones and laughing. They could have, and surely should have, been on a photo shoot. But after about twenty minutes it all started to go South. I heard the tension in her voice as she had to mediate yet another squabble. And then IT happened. One of the boys dared to remove his Merrill shoes on one of the play structures. After he refused to put them back on, she wailed, “Tristan! I bought you ice cream! Ice cream on a cold day. And THIS is how you repay me me?” Tristan ignored her and ran to the slide, shoeless. I moved away from the raucous but continued to eavesdrop. I noticed as they left the park that the pony tail was beyond skewed, the glasses were off and her perfect mouth was in an O of complete horror as she carried the shoes in her hands.

The next was a family that lives just down the street on the other side of the park. The father, Jack, had been playing with the little boy, Bodey, who is about three. Cassidy and I had gotten Loren’s soccer ball stuck in a tree and he came over with a broom to help us beat it down. This done, we chatted, did the introductions and played toddler soccer for a few minutes until both Bodey and Devon lost interest. After a time the wife returned from work and joined them. Midge, the wife, and Jack were genuinely happy to see each other. Jack told Midge about their day together, how he and Bodey had been on a bike ride and gone to the library where Bodey had wandered through every book aisle exclaiming, “I want that. I want that. I want that.” Much laughter followed and she said, “Oh, I know. Isn’t it so cute when he does that.” Then he asked about her day and she filled him on the details of her office friends.

Now I know their life is not a 24/7 love fest of true happiness. But that brief snippet I observed in the park was pretty damn close. They weren’t pretending or performing for my benefit. They were just a unit. A family. And I thought to myself, “I want that.”


1 Comment so far
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And I remember thinking that all the time. During my first marriage. I am sure you dont’t need me to say more.

Comment by jen-o-rama

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