Children have it good.

I just got to the house after spending nearly 2 1/2 hours with Trinity at a park today.  When we got there, we were alone.  Then about 10 minutes into our play, a woman came and dropped off four children.  She came over and told the two youngest kids to, “Play nice, you hear?” She then walked back to her car, got out a fishing pole and then started fishing in the bay.  It wasn’t until the twelve year old started telling me about her family that I started looking at the kids.  The two youngest kids were so dirty, I felt bad for the playground equipment.  I wanted to put guards on the playground equipment to protect it’s salt-air dingy-ness from these kids.  The two year old had no shoes on and had walked all the way from the other side of the parking lot that is littered with assorted sea life carcasses, rocks, and parking lot trash.

The three year old had some dirty white vinyl shoes on that she promptly took off so that her feet could have a better grip while running up the slide.  Her feet were dirty and damaged.  She had sores on her face and her feet were blistered.  Each of the kids had some sort of treat from the local Wawa.  Cool Blue Gatorade, chocolate candy-filled egg, a large package of Juicy-Fruit, a quart of chocolate milk, and a green apple were the menu choices this day.  Trinity liked the kids.  I was worried that I should be concerned that the kids had been warned to play nice.  There was no problem.  Everyone got along.  Trinity played on areas of the jungle gym that she hadn’t the courage to attempt before. 

Then daddy came.

He pulled up in a old american made 4x4 SUV.  He called the girls over to the truck one-by-one.  He then got out and I was able to admire his collection of sewing needle and ink pen tattoos.  “L O V E” was tattooed on the fingers of his left hand.  There was a broken heart on his right upper arm.  Well, I should say that if the tattooist’s hand were more steady, it would not have been broken.

He asked me if I lived locally.  That is how it usually starts.  A simple question.  I answered truthfully.  He asked me how I liked the area, did I like to fish, or crab.  He mentioned that he was the manager of a trailer park near where our children were currently playing.  I asked him how the owner and the tenants of the trailer park treated him.  He said that they all treated him badly.  He told me how his second oldest girl has just lost sight in one of her eyes due to a rare disease that kills off all of the males in the mother’s family.  He is worried that this girl might be sick with something similar.

Then we became buddies.  We joked about how people were spoiling the natural beauty of the area in which we lived.  We wished that the weekend beach goers would go to another beach in another country and leave So. Jersey to those that call this place home and not just a weekend retreat. 

He told me his secret to catching crabs.  He claims that he can catch more crabs with a net and a flashlight then anyone can with a trap.  I believe him.  I am going to try his suggestion.  He invited me to go out and crab with him one day.  I might go.  I like crabs that much that I would go out with a complete stranger that I judged on the appearance of him and his family.  He gave me his business card.  I might call him.

Two hours later, I decided that it was time for Trinity and daddy to go home so that we could freshen up for a dinner party later tonight.

Today, also, was a good day. 

Trinity gained some self confidence from children that had no clue that they were probably enjoying the best days of their lives.  They weren’t worried about getting sick, or losing their job, or how to fix the whatever it is that always seems to need fixing.  They weren’t worried that their feet were dirty and scarred.  Loss of sight in an eye didn’t mean that she couldn’t climb and play and hang upside down.  The bruise on the third child’s chest meant that she had played very hard the day before.  They were all happy to be together as a family, in the park with people they loved. 

Then the mini-van mother came.  I am only human.  I can only learn so many lessons in one day.  I’ll tackle the mini-van person issue another time.  I had to go.

I learned how easy it is to judge people from a cursory glance.  I learned that we all need to work hard to make the world a CIVILIZATION.  I don’t have any bruises from play.

I need to spend more time with children to learn how good it is.  I can’t wait to see what Trinity and I learn tomorrow.


Posted by SPN on 07/01 at 06:09 PM in Blogging

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