I walk down the hill pushing the BOB, decide to give my neighborhood park one more try. Jack and Fiona are bouncing off the walls. I can see the park from my house and hear children playing. As I approach the park a nanny, in a long t-shirt over a long skirt, hair pulled back tight, her eyes are muted, but I can tell she’s watching us, wondering if I am actually going to come into the park. As I cross the street the rest of the nannies start to size me up, all five of them. I’m usually the only non-nanny. I park my stroller, let jack and Fiona out to run. They run to the little play structure which is just about the right size now. There is a little girl named Cloe with her nanny who speaks some English. Her nanny encourages her to say “hi” to Jack and Fiona. I plop down on the ground to rest for a minute. It’s overcast when we get here but the fog rolls away quickly. The sun is strong and starts to bounce off the hot asphalt like an open flame to my face.
The park seems cleaner to me now, no dirty diapers on the ground, no free running dogs pooping and peeing. The nannies talk among themselves in Spanish and care for the youngest children in the shade. Jack, Fiona, and I go on our adventure. We hang out with some other kids, one little girl who is sad because her mommy went on an airplane today, and three little boys. They range in age from three to four years. Jack and Fiona climb up a dirt hill. I’m scared because if they slide down they could fall and hit asphalt, but I stay right below them ready to catch one and I ask the little boy who wants Jack and Fiona to go on an adventure with him to help me make sure they don’t fall and crack their heads open. The little boy agrees by repeating everything I’ve just said. Jack slides down the dirt hill, which I think is pretty smart and safe except from the prickly oak leaves. He’ll survive.
Ramona is working today. I had two appointments, therapy with Nancy who specializes in alternative families, surrogacy, and egg donor issues, and with Laura my hair dresser. Both appointments I enjoyed and finally was able to have a meaningful conversation with someone other than my husband and about things other than Jack and Fiona. I did talk about my experience being a mom. I had to pay for these conversations, but I still broke my isolation streak. I need to paint for a while now. I have two hours left before Ramona leaves. I think I’ll paint for an hour then take Billy for a walk.