One of the many mamas here, being awesome.
Listen. It is SO WEIRD to be in a public space with public kids, where the kids are free to do their thing. I’ts like free-range Hogakids but, EVERYWHERE and LOTS of them. I hardly have words. It’s like a different planet from the one I’ve been used to. Kids go where they need to go and even in a big hotel with tons of rooms, the children, even rather tiny ones, don’t get lost. Everyone is smiling and helping one another and I haven’t seen a fight. Today Ralph overheard a five, fourteen, and sixteen year old talking about whether the term “midget” was offensive (the five year old initiated the discussion because he said it was, and although he could barely pronounce the word “offensive” the conversation proceeded with civility and aplomb). People of all ages getting along doing exactly what they want to do.
I mean I’ve seen some crabby parents speak rudely – one rather terrifyingly so – and I’ve seen some kid meltdowns but, things are entirely different. Just one example. You’ve heard me complain about the #HQX YMCA and the weird pool rules? The hotel pool rules here are not regarded but it’s still a respectful, fun place. More fun than the Y, even though the Y has a larger pool. Kids are doing cannonball jumps and flips and tiny kids get in the hot tub and no one dies. Heck, our family can see the pool across the roof from our room (and our kids average swimming twice a day), and all is smiles until late into the evening.
It’s busy and the normal chaos happens. Some kids (and adults) lose track of their items, but other people find these items and leave them at the Lost & Found Table. Some kids don’t clean up after themselves and don’t have an adult with them to assist, after (Phoenix taught a class today, but she and Ralph and I made sure to clean up – still, not everyone is able or willing to do so, so volunteers do their part). Some parents/carers have small children and are clearly a bit overwhelmed at times, but this is about the most tolerant and loving place for something like that to happen. The sheer amount of NON-GLARING at children for being kids, is incredible! Babies are breastfed and worn and allowed to toddler around. People are courteous to one another, to a degree I’ve not seen in a public space. It’s really incredible.
It’s not a utopia. People are people, and some are crabby and/or are having a bad day. I know there are shennanigans and I know there’s drama. Besides the meltdowns (which are, again, a lot less than you typically see in a large crowd) there’s the same ol’ darkness that plagues the human race. Today I heard a few moms talk about how much they drank the night before; one of them said her son complained about it. (And speaking of which, yeah I’m finding a Recovery meeting daily while I’m here, kthx!)
But really, it’s incredible. My kids have been swimming and playing and swimming and eating and cleaning up and doing art and teaching classes – all day.
A note for Phee from her “Fairy Godparent”, plus a vajazzled tampon
Lunch today, Greek. All four of us had a wonderful time.
Phoenix ate a lentil soup and Nels pwned a large chicken gyro.
Good times. Now? Time for bed!
Sounds like a great time. And I really appreciate getting the full picture (within the limits of blogging, but you know what I mean) of what the event is like. You description is what I imagined an event like that would be like. Happy you all got to go!
One time, my kids were playing outside with the neighbor kids and some not-so-kid-friendly (nicest way to put it) person stopped her truck and yelled at Hal who just got home from work and was checking the mail, to “keep your kids out of the street.” We live in a residential neighborhood. The kids cross the streets to get to their friend’s homes. We cross the street to check our freaking mail. We ignored her, of-course, ‘cuz our kids are old enough to cross a freaking street unsupervised, but yes, it pissed me off and she would have gotten an ear-full about how kids need to play outside had she said that to me. Grrr. So, love when people write about letting kids be kids! /rant over. 😉
Woohoo, get rid of ageism! Sounds like a radically wonderful place!
What is the Fairy Godparent program? Could you write more about that? I’m intrigued : )
Yeah, sadly there are people who don’t think kids belong in public spaces, or rather they think kids should only act A, B, C (in other words, like specifically well-behaved ADULTS) if they’re in public. It’s like, I know their intolerance comes from a hurt place, and/or a place of ignorance, but it’s also very frustrating and sad at times. And of course there’s the US of A, or at least most places I’ve lived, where people think cars are blameless, holy creatures that own the road and all other critters should scurry out of the path.
Thank goodness kids are better at dealing with grouchy adults, than grouchy adults are at dealing with anything that doesn’t go their way. I try to take a deep breath and receive inspiration from my children’s equinamity and forthrightness.
The Fairy Godparent program is a reciprocal program where kids who want to participate, enter some of their personal information, like their favorite food and hobbies etc. They are assigned an anonymous grownup who makes or buys them them gifts and delivers them to the Godchild’s mailbox. It is so sweet! The little boy we “adopted” is carrying around all the gear we’ve been giving him. Hee. BTW Nels totally left a plaintive note yesterday begging Ralph to be his FGP (as originally, only Phoenix asked to participate), so now we have two Godchildren, one being our own. It’s just one of the many great programs going on here!
That is seriously one of the COOLEST things I’ve ever heard of!