We had made plans to meet up with a long time Facebook friend and fellow Lostie, Stephen. This would be our first in person meeting. We stopped up to our friend's apartment, but quickly realized it would be better to find a place for Truman stretch his legs. Only there less than 10 minutes, I think Stephen's cat had a full blown panic attack from all the commotion. Stephen recommended a nearby park and we all piled into our car for the short ride.
We drove by the park to see if it would have the necesary amenities...mainly, did it have a playground for Truman? It did, so we drove on to grab a picnic lunch. The grocery store was just a few blocks away. We went in and quickly gathered the items needed for our meal. Chicken, mashed potatoes, coleslaw, grapes, and cookies made the cut. The big boys went to grab some beer and then it was back to claim a picnic table near the playground.
We spent the afternoon in Cheesman Park, a location with a bit of a sorted history. When I got home, I did a bit of research (ie. wikipedia.com). Apparently, the land was originally allotted as a multidenominational cemetary, but by the late 1800's had fallen into disrepair. Local developers felt the area would be better served by a community park. Bodies were to be moved, but it is believed gravesites still exist within the park boundaries. Today the land is prestine, a perfect combination of old growth trees and expertly manicured lawns. Paved trails meandered throughout.
Upon our return to the park there was an open picnic table. Truman was immediately drawn to the playground and chose to forego eating in lieu of playing for most of the afternoon.
And here is where I need to go on a bit of a tangent...a tangent about mom's and how we treat each other...
Truman played while we ate. Helicopter parents...we are not. He was within view and at 3 years of age is quite self sufficient on play structures. That is except for the swings. Another mom and toddler had entered the play area. The mom loaded her little one into a swing. It was at that moment that our own little Truman, made his way over to the swings and encouraged this woman to load him as well and to push them both. I was mortified and pleased simultaneously. I began to rush towards the swings, but this fellow mom held up her hand and motioned me back to my lunch. Once I'd finished my lunch, I joined this other mom at that swings. I didn't want to abuse this priviledge she had just gifted me. She assured me it was fine and that he had been quite charming. We chatted comfortably.
When they left a short time later, Truman moved to join some children playing in the sand. This time I was in the midst of two couples out for a playdate with their daughters. The kids were playing well and the parents chatting. I over heard the dads discussing overcoming a "WOW" addiction and I chuckled aloud. The one mother closest to me smiled and we nodded in understanding. Brian is a lover of online multiplayer games as well. I knew what it was like to be a "gaming widow" from experience. Once the connection was made, conversation flowed easily.
Interaction after interaction continued for the remainder of the afternoon. Dozens of families in all shapes and sizes coming together for an afternoon of pure fun in the park. Over and over I witnessed gentle parenting and teachable moments. Adults motivating sharing and building socialization...through demonstration. It was a beautiful thing.
There was no "momism" to be found...at least that's what I've coined the term. Much like racism and sexism, "momism" is very real and rampant in Colorado Springs. I have easily made "girlfriends" in every location we have been. Most significant friendships were cultivated in Arizona. From playgroup mom's to co-workers to family of friends, I made a strong support network of woman that I haven't had before or since, but always desperately wanted. I have tried several playgroups and other activities, only to remain an outsider. I spent 2 hours one afternoon in a fast food playplace monitoring other people's children, only seeing other parents when they came to retrieve their kids...without so much as a simple hello. And that, as a mom, can be very lonely. On this day, it has definitely made me wish we had chosen to relocate to Denver, rather than the Springs.
We stayed this afternoon until the street lamps came on and the evening chill drove us back to the car. Then it was time to drop Stephen off and head south towards home. Truman was fast asleep before we even made it back to a main road. It had been a great day. Such a great day, that we had simply lost track of time. The best kind of day. And the cherry on top, we arrived home to these pictures our friend and professional photographer Stephen had snapped of us. Perfect digital memories which capture these essence of this perfect day.
|Stephen Fry Pictures|