Monday, October 17, 2005

like paroled convicts, they were

in elementary school we watched this movie about kids living on another planet—i think it was saturn—where it rained constantly. there was only one day a year when it was sunny, and all the kids finally got to go outside and run around and go nuts.*

today at the park was kind of like that one day.

we'd all been cooped up in our houses for the past week, trapped by the rain. but today was bright and sunny, and everybody was at the playground—and everybody was just a little wacky.

little girls were climbing all over the railings of the stairs of the jungle gym, hanging on by one foot and two fingers and sheer determination. we were part of a traffic pile-up on the slide: two going up, three coming down, and no room for any grownup to get in there and straighten things out—we just had to let nature take its course and hope for the best. a little boy made his way through the gate on to the sidewalk and had to be brought back in by a pedestrain who happened to be walking by. it was anarchy! everyone was at top volume and top speed and pushing the limitis of their abilities. all the kids' eyes were darting in twelve directions at once, looking for the next thing to do before they finished what they were already doing, trying to make up for their lost week. "slide! swings! wobbly bridge! no, slide again! tunnel! slide! why! won't! my! body! separate! into! 3! pieces! so! i! can! do! everything! at! once!?!"

in the morning we went to fort greene park, where wile spent a good ten minutes flinging dirt out of one of the planters with enormous gusto, then fell and skinned his nose and forehead crawling from the asphalt back on to the rubber mat. in the afternoon we went to underwood, the closer playground, where he crawled around at top speed, yelling his head off as he went. "ba-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a!" he chased another little kid, who was actually older than him, through the tunnel and made him cry a little bit (hey, if you can't take the heat, get out of the playground). after i apologized to the kids mom, we went over to the slide, where wile climbed up the stairs on his feet (not knees). when he got to the top there was a 4-year-old sitting at the top of the slide taking a little too long to decide to go down, so the little man reached over and tried to hurry him up some with a relatively friendly push to the middle of the back. more apologizing—though the 4-year-old looked less upset and more confused that this very small person had been the one who pushed him.... we did some swinginating, some acorn-chucking, some digging in the dirt with sticks, then all the sudden he crashed and burned, started clawing at my sweater, and it was time to go home.


* the plot of the movie was that this one girl did something to piss off one of the other kids so to get back at her the other kid locked her inside for the one sunny day, and it was and still is one of the saddest things i've ever seen.


casey said...

i'm picturing all these kids running around, total anarchy, and i'm cracking up. hell, i was like that today - yep, first non-rainy day in forever - and i'm not even a toddler!

i'm trying to remember that movie, and damned if i can. then again, i'm surprise i remember anything prior to 1998 anyway.

hey mama said...

we may not have watched it in school, i may have seen it at the library (thrall!), i remember they used to show movies there in the chidren's room sometimes. hee—this one time i remember i got all excited because they said they were showing "weird science", but of course it wasn't the awesome "weird science" with chet and the mutant bikers, it was some, you know, elementary school–friendly made-for-tv-esque movie about some kids and some stupid science experiment. i was so offended, i felt totally lied to and used.