Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks
Sunday, June 14, 2009 Parked
There's a park with a playground about a block and a half from M. Edium's school. Once or twice a week, when the weather is sunny and warm, Mr. N. and the other teachers hand out matching green t-shirts to all the kids and lead them in a double-file, handholding flock up the street to play for a while. Trash and I actually saw it happen once; one morning we'd forgotten to drop his lunch off with him, and when we went to take it to the school, we could see them coming back. It would have been adorable even if we hadn't seen M. Edium among them, in the middle of the pack, his eyes directed down on the feet of the kid in front of him (although he later claimed to have seen us drive by). But seeing our little one as part of something bigger than our family, independently of our family, was surprisingly moving. If he ever joins the army we're fucked.
Anyway, it seems like he's been waiting forever to go back to that park with his school, what with the long, cold winter and the late, rainy spring we've been having. But last week, as I was taking him to school, he asked if we could drive past the park. I said sure. Guess what? The park was gone.
Okay, I should clarify. The park had not been completely razed, transformed into the foundation of a multi-story parking garage, or otherwise nuked. It was just that the playground equipment had all been dismantled and removed. And stacked next to the big sandbox area were several dozen large boxes, as though to signal that a new park was moving in and just hadn't unpacked yet. Kind of a drag.
Don't misunderstand; the old playground equipment was outdated and deteriorating. The swingset squalled like a llama in a hurricane, the Plexiglas bubble window had permanently fogged over long ago, the "slide" was more like a "sit," and I don't think the tire swing over the bed of broken glass was even legal any more. But it was better than nothing, which is what's there now.
Actually, after the pickup the other day, we stopped by to check it out again. Most of the boxes are still there, sodden and misshapen from all the rain we've been getting recently. However, a small stand of bright-green vertical support poles has been sunk into the ground at what would seem like random intervals to a non-parent, but to my experienced eye indicates that this playground is going to end up looking like every other playground in the area. Unless they forget to take down the yellow caution tape that's up now, which would actually be kind of cool.
What makes it a little more interesting is that years ago, before we decided to stay put and expand the house, we actually considered moving into that neighborhood. This would have been our local park, and we would have found it charmingly retro, right up until the past couple of weeks when we couldn't have gone there at all.
And adding to our bitterness would be the fact that this would be taking professional crews upwards of two weeks, as compared to the quite impressive work we did in our own back yard in one weekend, just last month.
In the meantime, I suppose we can take solace in the fact that the area we live in has about nine hundred parks per square mile. We'll just have to make do. posted by M. Giant 8:49 PM 1 comments
For a moment there, I thought Leslie Knope got her hands on it and un-parked it. I hope it comes out nicely.