after we dropped moose off at school, with his PECS book, pull-ups, change of clothes and his gluten-dairy-soy free snack packed away…
monkey and i headed to the park
after some much needed sunshine
lately, chicago has felt like the setting for a charles dickens novel
he is still 2, just starting to touch 3,
a bit apprehensive as the older 4 and 5 year olds swarm.
and some of those 4 and 5 year olds were drawn to me,
as kids often are.
“are you his nanny?” a little girl named mary asked me.
“no, i’m his mommy.”
it must be the teacher aura.
as monkey tested his climbing skills
and vanished into the playground
i couldn’t help but study the kids
you try not to compare and contrast,
but you just can’t help it.
two little ones
about 4 years old
and were building a pretend fire.
“do you have a match?” the little boy asked me, and i pretended to retrieve one from my pocket.
“only if you make me smores,” i replied, “but they have to be gluten-free”.
he looked at me puzzled.
“okay,” he said rubbing the sticks together, “let’s get the ingredients!”
i pretended to hand him the crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows from my purse.
their father admonished the kids for
the stick collection and made them put them back in the grass.
monkey headed over to the slide and more older kids approached me.
“look at me!”
“my name’s charlotte and i’m 4. i will be five july 31st.”
and then every child in unison.
“i’m this many” holding up their little fingers.
and suddenly, thankful i had sunglasses on,
my eyes filled up with tears.
i sometimes forget what “normal” is.
i’m this many fingers
i forget the pretend play
this is how childhood should be.
building pretend fires
not in doctor’s offices
and therapy clinics…