Day two of the Outside Learning the kids asked if we could go to a "real" park...you know, one of those parks that other "real" people go to. So we went to the park named after our city. It is a large park and has many varieties of things to play with. I parked myself on a blanket about 75 feet away from the park. I don't need "real" people or "real" park activities. :) And I proceeded to spread my 10 books I brought as well as all the water bottles and snacks around and enjoy the overcast day...not too hot, not too cold AH, just right.
I was enjoying reading Charlotte Mason, and a Activity Learning Book for Teachers, and The Well Trained Mind, and Fascinating Womanhood. And I would glance up every once and again to make sure that I could spot all of the children playing and so I could observe things at the park. Sometimes I had to look up just because of loud, jarring noises and make sure that the world had not collapsed around me. Several of these times it was a mother, yelling at her children to do what she was telling them to do....so sad. Even more times than that it was children yelling at other children to do what they wanted them to do....no comment. Okay, I'll comment. Moo came and sat with me and we were listening to some of the yelling going on at the "real" park and I said, "Moo I really don't like it when children yell at other children. It is so unnecessary and unneeded, and poor communication skills, and really...they don't have any authority anyways." She agreed and so we talked about why....why do children yell at each other. a.) because their parents yell at them. b.) because they want to be in control of something...why not other children. c.) because they have not learned how to communicate with other people etc. Now, my children are not perfect in their communication with others, or with each other, but they know it is not appropriate to speak unkindly or harshly with another human being, especially with a child. I was wishing a few more mothers might work on their communication skills. Gotta love "real" parks
After I had finished half of my books I decided that I'd better take these half to the car...plus sometimes you need to move about and stretch. So I walked to the car and placed them in and on the way back to my spot I was whistled at. At first I was off in my own little world...and then it registered and I thought...did someone just whistle at me? I looked around to see if anyone else was around and found four construction workers looking my way....hmmmm. Now, It's been a long time since I've been whistled at. In fact I cannot recal the last time I was whistled at, but I'm sure it was way back when I didn't have four kids in tow and a mini van. Now, I have something important things to say about this whistling. I was in a dress. If you didn't know, dresses are pretty uncommon at the park. But since reading Fascinating womanhood I have worn a dress every day so the park isn't going to be any different, or the cannery, or camping (luckily our camping this year is a pioneer trek, so I have to be in a dress anyway and all the other women will be in a dress too...so I won't feel SO out of place.....but I digress. Most men will tell you that it doesn't matter if you wear a dress. I'm going to disagree....and I'm going to use this nasty whistling incident to back up my point. There were many young, attractive women at the "real" park wearing skin tight levi capri's and skin tight t-shirts and cute little ball caps that are so popular right now (and I love btw, but I just can't justify wearing them with a dress, so no more ball caps for me) and yet I, a 30 something mother of four kids with an armful of books and nothing tight fitting was the one who got whistled at by the construction workers. Why? I'm going to argue that it was because of the dress, because I was feminine and becasue men really do like a girl who looks nice, dresses up, and flows along softly in the grass barefooted in a skirt that reaches her ankles....or they might have been mocking me in which case I'll feel more at home and better about myself. I'm used to social persecution. :) Gotta love "real" parks
Lastly, a reedeming feature of the "real" park...some "real" people like to go there. I was reading my books...sprawled everywhere and a very nice lady with a few kids was blowing bubbles near me. They were being a bit roudy...who isn't with bubbles and she was worried that they might be disturbing my reading. I am however used to kid noises and can tune them out when needed (like when I'm writing a blog post) and so they were not bothering me. But she came over and visited for a minute and noticed the books that I was reading and said, "I think we could be friends." A redeeming moment at the "real" park...there are other women out there who read?....just kidding. Since all the women I know and love read this really is a quip, but I really didn't expect to find a kindred spirit at the park. Gotta be okay with "real" parks sometimes.
Needless to say, today, we are not going to a "real" park. But again, we had a great discussion on the way home about the kids that called my kids names, and the kid that punched my kid in the stomach, and the kids that use poor language, and the mom's that laugh and talk with their friends, and about how we really don't want to be a part of the "real" world again anytime soon.
Anyone know of any great escapes in northern Utah where kids can just roam free and not get beat up, called names, kidnapped, or abused? If so, share!