Triple Date

Today was a good day. We finally had a triple date with new neighborhood friends (who are, of course, planning to move, maybe to Brooklyn, maybe to Seattle--really, those are their choices.) Actually the great thing was that it was not a date. Those don't work with kids. Nothing with a definite time or place seems to. This was just me emailing an hour or so after Wally woke up from his nap that we were going out to do some errands and would end up at the playground and that my cell phone wasn't working and my home phone wasn't working but hopefully we'd see them there because that's where they usually go at that time. The 3 of them showed up, and Alex came too, after the gym. Wally chased their little guy E. and E. impressively dribbled a ball for quite a long time and sometimes passed it to me. The best part was near the end when it was kind of last call on the playground -- last chance to go on the slide or play with someone's doll stroller that he or she was going to bring home. It was getting dark (there's never much sun on that playground to begin with) and only Wally and E. were up on the playground structure, running back and forth. Every now and then, at regular intervals, they'd stop. Wally would sort of kiss E.'s arm, then E. would take Wally's face and hold it, then finally they'd hug and smoosh their faces together for a minute. The mom tried to take a picture--we were desperate to have one. It was too sweet, too wonderful, the kind of thing you can never capture--but she said they all came out blurry. Even though we might remember it and they never will, it was their own little moment, not ours. The best thing we could do was watch and laugh. And feel amazed that sometimes the playground really is fun, even with toddlers, even with potential disasters and irritated parents lurking at every turn. I don't know if I can use their real names or not. Probably not. Maybe they have cool code names I can appropriate. Anyway, they're moving soon. One day they'll look at the picture with Wally in it and say, who was that kid again? I kind of remember him. No name will come to mind. They'll shrug and click to the next picture and then check email and maybe head out to the local park.


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