On Saturday, my mom and I took the babies to Pullen Park. It was a gorgeous day, warm even for North Carolina standards. The park, which was recently remodeled, features a train and an antique carousel. Turns out, we weren’t the only ones who thought the park on an unseasonably warm day in January would be a good idea. Despite the crowd, we had a grand time. I did leave, however,leave feeling compelled to write some friendly letters to our fellow park goers.
Dear man in the white SUV who tried to steal my parking spot,
I was there before you. My turn signal was on. Why did you go around me, contemplating a hostile take-over of the spot I had been patiently waiting for? When I inched up on your bumper, did you get the hint? Did you see the two car seats in the back holding my two precious babies, which caused your conscience to magically kick in? Or, was it my angry twin mom stare that ultimately scared you into moving on? Whatever the reason, be glad you moved on. We call my double jogging stroller “The Enforcer” for a reason.
Dear parents waiting in the super-long ticket line,
We are all busy and distracted and tired. I understand, I really do. However, lines move faster when you know what you need and when you have your money ready. Seriously, my transaction took 30 seconds, and I have two kids, bought 15 tickets, and used my credit card. I could have bought the park in the time it took some of you to just get your tickets.
Dear nice man who tried to sell me his extra tickets so I wouldn’t have to wait,
You’re so nice. You saw how tired (and old and frustrated) I looked, didn’t you? I’m sorry. I don’t carry cash. Ever. Do you take Mastercard or Visa? Goldfish crackers or a bag of wipes? Okay, maybe next time.
Dear moms with barefoot kids,
Thank you for making me feel better about forgetting to send proper winter coats to daycare with the babies. At least I made sure they were wearing shoes…
Dear lady with three kids who apparently cut in line while the rest of us actually waited for the train,
I don’t judge--usually. Bottle or breast? Co-sleep or crib? Cry it out or attachment parenting? Soda and TV? Time out or spanking? Vaccinations- on schedule or delayed? Seriously, I don’t care. It’s your choice. But, really. Your children are watching. Is this the lesson you want to teach your children?
Dear friendly folks who took the time to wave back to my super-excited babies,
My babies love to wave. We have practiced it for months. They are good at it. I loved watching them wave excitedly as we rode through the park on the train, and it warmed my heart to see each of you smile and return their wave with the same enthusiasm.
Dear dog owners,
Thank you for bringing your dogs to the park and letting my kids point at you and yell, “ah ah” (their rendition of “woof woof”). I appreciate the way you share your dog, feed your dog, and walk your dog, thereby keeping us from having to buy our kids a dog. We hope to live vicariously through dog lovers like yourself for the next 15 years or so.
Dear patient people in the carousel line who endured my screaming, impatient, wriggly toddlers,
I know it wasn’t easy, especially when they squealed in an enclosed space. I know it wasn’t easy when we gave up and put them down and they ran into your, um, be-hind, like they knew you. Don’t be mad at them. They really are good babies. As the parent, I take total responsibility. I crammed too much excitement and stroller confinement into one day. Hey, it was all in the name of fun.
Dear selfless, grown-up man who gave up his seat on the bobbing pig,
Sure, Drew could have ridden the stationary horse on the outside and would have probably been happy. But, oh my, he enjoyed the bobbing pig so much more. As Drew’s official translator, I say thank you. As Drew’s mom, I say thank you for restoring my faith in humanity.