At The Park
I've been fighting a cold for a week, and yesterday, it all caught up with me. I was foggy-headed and borderline narcoleptic. Seriously, I fell asleep at the keyboard. I lurched awake, and promptly fell asleep while tying my daughter's shoes about ten minutes later. Deciding that the television would be a fine parent for an hour, I curled up on my bed with my daughter sitting on top of me like a Lilliputian, and I woke in a puddle of drool two hours later, with my daughter's eyeballs inches from my own.
After picking the other two kids up at school, I figured I might as well let them play at the park, so I settled down in a shady spot on the grass and watched them run around and scream. I like to see that energy being expended - from about 50 yards. Gradually, a few friends came and joined me while our kids tried to out-swing, out-shout, out-maneuver one each other.
I told them about my great sleeping adventure, and speculated on my daughter's activities while I lay passed out on the bed.
"She probably took the minivan for a joy ride," contributed one of my friends.
"Yeah, she probably spent the hour surfing the internet."
I am not ruling out either of those possibilities.
Somehow, the conversation came around to current events.
"Did you hear about the drive-by shooting yesterday?"
I think I practically whipped my head off of my neck on my reaction to that question. Turns out that someone drove up to a house right by my friend's house and fired a gun from a car at the house. I'm not sure if anyone was injured, or what the motivation was, but we all murmured shocked statements.
The whole gang connection brought up some other recent events, where young men wearing red shirts have had the holy crap beaten out of them by gang members. These were young men in uniform shirts from an office supply store (I think.) Anyway, we talked about how you can't wear red. And you can't wear blue. And now, one of the friends mentioned, apparently brown is a new gang color around here.
"What are they, the sh*theads?" she quipped.
"Great, what about brown being the new black?" I wondered.
"I should have suspected something was up when she wanted to wear that dress..." said another friend, as her daughter ran by wearing a darling brown dress.
We laughed for a good hour, and then I grabbed my kids and headed home. I made a stop at the bank, and then my cell phone rang.
"Hey, your son left his shoes at the park!" laughed one of the moms.
"I'll come get 'em." I said.
"Oh, we were going to do a drive-by-shoe-ing" yelled another mom.
Yeah, the suburbs. We're more hard core than you'll ever know.