This weekend was a flurry of physical activity. I started on Friday after work by running C25K Week 1, Day 3 to the bike shop to pick up my newly tubed-and-shiftered bike. Unfortunately the bike shop isn’t that far away and I only got halfway through my run. I biked back home where Husband and Lily were waiting for me to go for a walk to the playground and the liquor store.
My bike. She is glorious now. It’s an older bike (I’m thinking 60’s, maybe?) and its shifters were previously located on the crossbar because clearly the Italians who designed it were completely insane. Every time I had to shift I had to reach down and fumble around and I felt like I was going to just fall right over. Now I have fancy—well, not fancy – but real thumb shifters on the handlebars where nature intended them to be.
Funny thing is that I’m so used to riding my scooter that I spooked myself twice on the ride back home because there was no turn signal switch for my left thumb. Also I left my helmet at home and had to carry my change back in my shoe because of poor planning.
Saturday was another walk to the park to play tennis with S & H. There was tennis for hours. I had to take Lily over to the playground a couple of times because she got bored watching us and chasing tennis balls.
Sunday was a repeat of Saturday, only I didn’t play tennis at all. Lily and I spent quite some time at the playground and I did some serious peoplewatching.
It’s still strange to see all these people who are my age and also have kids around Lily’s age. What really irritated me was the amount of helicopter parenting going on. Parents! Let your children play in the playground! It was like these people had some kind of invisible tether connecting them with their children like an unbreakable 5-foot rope. I actually saw a mother start to walk away from her daughter but stop suddenly, like she had reached the end of her umbilical rope and couldn’t physically move any father.
Me, I sat on the benches, moseying around when I had to as Lily worked her way around the playground equipment and my sight lines were lost. I stepped a little closer a couple of times to remind her to take turns on the slides. I watched her explore all the equipment and I could see the gears turning in her head as she discovered what everything did. All on her own she conquered the big metal slide she had been afraid of only days before. She came running over to me, beaming with pride, shouting, “Mama! Mama! Yaaaaay! I did it!” I gave her a huge hug, told her how proud of her I was, and watched her go down the big slide over and over again. From the bench.
There were three different kids, ranging in age from around 2 to maybe 4, playing on one of the playground structures. This particular structure had a wooden ramp that was barely an incline – more of a short boardwalk -- that led to a platform where the kids could take sand and send it down a tube. This is not exactly a high-risk piece of equipment. Maybe if a kid were to run blindfolded up the walkway they could possibly run headlong into the little shelf thing on the edge, but said kid would have to be incredibly derpy and/or mentally ill for any sort of injury to occur. And yet three different parents for the three different kids all stood around the thing, eyes glued to their child, at regularly spaced intervals in a 3-foot radius from the kids. Lily occasionally dropped in to assist with the sand dropping and I’m pretty sure one of the moms looked back at me as though she were expecting me to leave my seat and also hover around like some kind of parental electron to the offspring nucleus.
I offered a small smile in her direction. Why would I need to, when there were three other hyper-alert adults within arm’s reach already?
In other news, my pants and coat are already fitting better.