the hidden park

Christina called and said her family would be eating dinner at the “hidden park” tonight and wanted to know if we’d like to join them. I have been trying for two days to get out to Home Depot to get more ant killing liquids and I was going to get out tonight. But man I’m glad I didn’t.

She told me to call her for specific directions, but I didn’t. I was pretty sure I knew how to get there well enough and it was the kind of weather that you don’t mind driving around with your windows down in. It must’ve been in the 70’s and the sky was clear, a slight breeze. Just perfect. Turns out, I did know where to go, and as I drove into the parking lot I thought I should be, it was confirmed by the happy faces and waves from 3 dirty blonde headed boys.

We drove up and parked next to them. Christina and Jeff were eating Chinese food on the hood of their car with Emily in Jeff’s arms, getting noodles every so often. Beautiful sight, no?

I got out of the car, the boys ran off in the half empty parking lot with their cousins and I got Ray in his stroller. We headed up to the park. It’s a gated park, kind of up a tiny hill, really hidden by bushes and small trees. The ground at the park is soft, kind of spongy stuff, like turf, that Ray was able to crawl around all over and that was wonderful! Because Ray is turning into the age where he doesn’t want to be held by mommy all the time. He’s his own 15 month old self now and he can crawl faster than some adults can walk. He’s a man on a mission and does things with vigor!

Nothing really eventful happened. But I had a few moments of pure joy. Watching Jeff play football with all the big boys. And really engaging them, playing with them. Jeff is a good big kid to play with. But the highlight was something so small. Christina and I were holding one another’s baby. I had Emily and she had Ray. We would count to three, then drop the babies back and swing them up again. Ray and Emily were all smiles and giggles. For a minute, I had a flash. I thought, “how funny. I grew up with Christina. I know what she was like as a baby, little girl and teenager. It doesn’t feel that long ago and here we are, holding each other’s baby. Babies?! We each have multiple babies! This is crazy and so cool at the same time”. This little flash, seeing Christina and I as little girls and then seeing us in the moment. It was fast, a flicker really and then Christina turned to me, as if she had heard my thoughts and shook my arm and said, “We’re holding our babies and swinging them around together!” We both laughed.

What a moment.

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