I'm at the 9th Street playground watching Monty weigh the pros and cons of eating sand. I grew up going to this playground. Back then it had one swing set, a sandbox, a small jungle gym, and a large dome shaped monkey bar thing. My best friend Carrie and I used to climb the dome, hook our knees around a bar and hang upside down. We came with a big group, so I guess it must have been pre-school. I'm surprised I remember that far back. Carrie went on to learn special effects makeup and built monsters and stuff for a couple outfits in Los Angeles. She lives in San Antonio now with a husband she adores and her first baby on the way. I went on to do a few things, too. And now I live somewhere in New York (not quite sure where, yet) with a great guy and a two-and-a-half year old. Weird.
Anyway, the playground is all redone and has a music theme. Because playgrounds now have themes, I guess? Monty loves it but there's something about the whole thing that makes me sad. I know I run the risk of sounding like one of those old guys who say, "Why, in the seventies people got raped and murdered about a million times more on the streets of New York City, and we liked it!" I understand that New York is safer now, and that the streets of South Park Slope aren't littered with crack viles, and that you can walk to the 4th Avenue subway stop without stepping over people who have stumbled out of the methadone clinic, and that no kids have been shot on the corner of the street I grew up on since the mid-90s, and that these are all improvements. And I know it's kind of mentally ill of me to still consider stores that opened 20 years ago interlopers. But I'm angry that I've been completely priced out of the neighborhood I grew up in. This playground is a reflection of the extreme affluence the neighborhood houses now and I guess it makes me nostalgic. Homesick for a place that no longer exists. And resentful. And I wish I could wear a sign that says, "I grew up here!"
Monty is clearly the oldest kid here because most kids his age are in school already. I'm getting increasingly worried about where and when we're going to settle because Monty really needs to be in school. He doesn't know how to play with other kids. He's a bright kid and I am not equipped with the tools to keep him challenged. I don't know how kids work.
Also he needs to go to school because I'm about to jump of the roof. I love him to pieces, but I need a break. I have, like, things I need to do. If I catch my mind wandering to things I need to get done while I'm playing with Monty I instantly feel guilty that I'm not "relishing each moment" because "it all goes so fast and next thing you know, you'll turn around and he'll be going off to college." And then I'm angry at the idiots who say shit like that. There's no way you can relish every moment. Especially when the moment is singing the 75th verse of She'll Be Coming 'Round The Mountain When She Comes or trying to get your kid to "wave bye-bye to the poopy and wash hands!", and you have a deadline you have to meet and you really just need to get back to your writing. I KNOW I'll be sad some day when he won't cuddle on my lap anymore, but mommy has to get grown-up things done. Mommy has to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up. Mommy needs to figure out where we're going to live that is out of the city, highly commutable to the city, affordable, and has good schools. And mommy needs a nap. Mommy is exhausted. And no, Monty, don't eat the sand, it has rat pee in it. No, don't do it. I'm not kidding. Monty, this isn't a game. Put the sand down. No, don't throw the sand. Just put it down. Thank you. I relish you. I relish this moment. LOOK AT ME! I'M RELISHING!!!!
Here's where I spout my brilliance.