The Park

It was a bright and sunny day. A day where you would skip school or work if you could. And for someone who has the opportunity to work at home while watching her daughter, this was a perfect day to enjoy a little sunshine.

So we went outside, about four-ish in the afternoon, to check the mail. We have mailbox slots in a small alcove of the apartment building, and a stoop outside under the green awning. Many times, we'll sit on the stoop and stare at the passing cars... vroom-vroom... as I would point at objects and the Overlord would sit on my knee. Her eyes would be as big as moon pies, following my pointing finger as I would name things.

"That's a car."
"That's grass."
"There's a tree."
"That's a welcome mat."
"There's a doggie."

Well, on that bright and sunny day, the awning was gone. Perhaps they took it down for cleaning or replacement. It's a nice awning. One of those cloth type ones. Not the plastic where the light shines through, changing a person's skin green, as if this was a brief glimpse of the aliens leaving the disguised mothership/apartment building before they infiltrated the humans as the aliens sought... whatever your imagination wishes. A peaceful coexistence with humanity? A plot for world takeover? A place to eat a good Big Mac in the entire universe? Take your pick.

We sat on that stoop, with me giving lessons and the Overlord staring at all the world with a newness in her eyes. Across the street was the hospital, red brick all around, people having to enter different entrances to find loved ones, since the building doesn't connect to every wing. It's kind of annoying, I would think. You would enter one entrance, looking for a patient's room, only to be told the room was on the west side  of the building. So you would have to go out through the same exit and walk around the block to the next, finding two different doors and playing eenie-meanie-minnie-moe on which to go through.

We stared and I would point. This was our afternoon learning routine. But on this bright and sunny day, there were kids playing in the park. Kids... children... tiny, running, laughing, playing humanoids that the Overlord has never seen before.

I ran upstairs, placed on a hat, changed out of my slippers into some sandals, and headed over to the park with the Overlord and a pacifier in my pocket. No diapers in case she soiled herself. No baby bottle. This was a spur-of-the-moment type thing. Who knew when those kids would leave, with the Overlord missing her chance at some social interaction?

Friendship Park. There are plenty of reasons to call it such. You can start instant friendships there with perfect strangers just by sitting on a bench and saying, "hi." We sat and watched. The children laughed and played. I think the oldest might have been seven. This was a time of life we all enjoy. That reckless childhood abandon. There's no need, either as parents or as children, to dwell on what the future will bring: elementary school lunches and food fights, middle school detention for chewing gum during gym class (yes, that happened to me), high school tests... and more tests... and more tests. Finals. Term papers. And let's not forget all the dreaded PSAT, SAT, and ACT tutoring if you sought something more toward a future career than just flipping burgers to feed those hungry green aliens.

No. We sat there, not dreaming of what the future will be, what the Overlord will be like when she's one, two, or three-years-old like those playing children. We sat and stared at the newness of the world, enjoying this moment of a bright and sunny day.

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