Tuesday, November 18, 2008
We love the parks here in Houston and we manage to go weekly to one of our favorites - Firetruck Park. Some of the wealthier areas take great pride in their parks, updating them, holding 'Grand Openings' and such stuff. As mentioned earlier, people often donate nice items that make the park the favorite play place for a child.
Firetruck Park is in one of the smallest cities called Southside locate in the heart of SW Houston and is comprised of 500 homes, all of monumental size as if each is trying to out do the other. The children who live there are all attended to by Nannies who have formed a rather obvious click, they bring lunch, chat all day while their charges are left to play with each other. Those who don't live in the area are rather obvious, mothers like I who stay at home and don't speak a lick of Spanish.
The 'other mothers' as we often say, tend to often talk and some of the conversations I've had were wonderful. It had been a long time since I have been able to have a deep conversation with a perfect stranger. The talk usually centers on our children, one woman told me of her battles with infertility and how finally they were blessed with the adoption of 2 children. Another told me of her adjustment with motherhood when she found out she was having twins. They've told me of the best areas for food and housing, discipline or teaching ideas, cheap fun for children and good babysitters. I often would walk away from these encounters renewed. I had spent so much of my time in ABQ alone that I forgot how people are more alike than we think. It's just learning to reach out in a friendly way.
I also love the way this park is so colorful and safe. Isaac's interests are in the simplest things. He can spend an hour shovelling, collecting and pouring rocks, or using the dump trucks they have there. We climb on large rocks, walk tight-rope style along ledges and of course we drive the fire truck with many loud 'beeps' and 'whee-woo, whee-woo' noises.
I've also been able to watch him tentatively reach out and make friends. He takes his time to observe and when another child notices, he's quick to smile and laugh with them. Sometimes he joins in to chase or they simply explore the leaves and rocks on the ground together. He tends towards girl as evidenced by the fact his two closets friends are Eden and Sierra - both older than him by a year. Not only is he a lady's man, he likes the mature ones! His enthusiasm is unbound when he sees them. He waved wildly to Sierra halfway across the congregation when sacrament was just beginning. With Eden he can't help but hug her when he sees her and take her hand as if to say, "come play with me!" The other day he wanted to play on the swings (somethings he's never wanted to do before) just so he could be near enough to smile and wave at a little girl. If only 'parking' could always be so innocent!