Looking across the park I watch the happy people. The moms, the one dad, pushing the kids in swings or on teeter-totters.
The tennis ball smacks back and forth across the net – hit better by the man in fluorescent green. Perhaps because he matches the ball.
The giggling gets louder; the partial nuclear families are flocking. 11a.m. – outdoor time.
The one dad looks out of place and a little disheartened as middle class moms take over the park – some with Starbucks in hand others just have it in their blood stream.
Is there a coffee cart in this park? This suburba-land? A station for an IV hook up where you can still see the swings?
He looks at the woodchips, his stomach starts to hurt. He feels like he is flying, faster covering more ground. And then a sudden jolt – a stop. His mother tugs at his sweatshirt and makes him place his feet on the ground ruining his swing experience. He can no longer be an astronaut and must now be an average 3 year old. So like mothers to spoil our dreams.
Inside there is a voice nagging that asks, will I be a mom like this? I won’t live in the multi-million dollar homes that surround this park, but it is only one neighborhood over from my apartment – a short stroller’s walk. Would I ever fit in? In my clashing cry of anti- & longing- (for) suburbia, can I truly join the community? Can I wear velour or soft cotton matching zip ups? Can I watch the 3 year old, hold the 10 month old and be cold because I’ve forgotten my sweater? Or must I be someone else? Would we be at coffee shops with the many pierced lips and watchful eyes? Will the onesies all be rock bands and hand painted? Where will we fit? Left of suburbia? Out in a country setting? There in the city? Or in the sub-city, sub-suburbia fringe? Will my little girl wear rainbow tights and half pig tails, run and squeal across uneven grass towards deep red swings? Will her 10-inch tall legs make it across the path? Will we need our own park?
There are many dads now. One so clever as to carry the bunny doll in hand, the frisby-ish device in the other hand and the ball to bounce in his sweatshirt hood. The older kids are getting here. Will there soon be a parade?
4 months ago