at the park

at the park

Felix wore pink today. Mostly because I need to do laundry and Elsa’s old onesie was nearly all that was left in his drawer. It was no big deal, of course. He’s comfortable in his boyhood. But it was slightly confusing to the two teenage boys we met at the playground today. Elsa had wanted to play at a different playground than normal—not the one at the school, not the one by our house—so we went to Manhattan earlier than we usually do and went to the playground next to the school. That was different enough for her.

I had planned to sit on a bench and feed Felix and talk to Micah on the phone, but as soon as I pulled Felix out of his wrappings, these two young teenage boys made a beeline for me and started cooing over him. It was clear that these boys were no ordinary boys. They had limited sense of personal space. My baby was their baby. They jumped right into the questions: is it a girl? How old is he? Why is he wearing pink? How old is he? The mom of one of the boys was sitting nearby and came over to help supervise. She said they went to a school nearby, that her son was 13 and that the other boy was his friend. It was parent-teacher conferences today and she was watching the other boy while his mom was in talking to the teachers. The boys went to play for a bit, but quickly came back to poke and stroke little Felix, who amazingly enough, was not at all fussy, despite having not eaten in over 3 hours. They were so sweet and innocent, so amazed by the sight of a real baby, that I didn’t mind the fact that one of them was nearly sitting in my lap.

After a bit, they went to play again, and I took the opportunity to feed Felix. The other mom stayed and chatted with me, told me how her son is 13 and still learning to read, how her other son is at a boarding school in South Carolina, how her husband died when they were practically babies, how great it is that I can breastfeed my baby.

Felix finished eating and Elsa came back from playing to let me know she needed the restroom, so we had to leave. But I couldn’t help leave feeling really grateful to have met those boys and that mom and to have been able to let them coo over my baby. There are good people with hard things all over the place and it’s a blessing to be able to bring some lightness to them, even if it’s just for a minute.

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