When Janka Fairy was in ballet camp last week, the boys and I discovered JB Williams Park.  This 160 acre park on Niepsic Rd. looks unassuming from the parking lot.  However, when you start walking along the trail, you discover so much more.  Walk to the right, and you walk over shallow creeks on the way to a small fishing pond, stocked with trout and other such fish.  Also is a heavily shaded playground.  If you walk to the left along the trails up the hill into the woods, you come upon a beautiful little red clover “field” cut through with a babbling brook, just the size for wading. 

There was a town sponsored “camp” for 3 year olds up at the playground.  I had the boys at the creek, wading and splashing.  They were pulling leaves to float downstream as “boats”, and stepping on the skunk cabbage to make it “stinky”.  When it came time for pick up the campers, all the parents passed us by on their way.  So many of them smiled and made comments like, “oh, that’s so wonderful” “I remember doing that for entire summers when I was a kid” “that’s what you’re supposed to do in the summer” and “OOOO, looks like so much fun”.  I tried to be open and friendly with all of them, actually hoping to make some connections, as I know absolutely no one here yet. 

About five minutes later, camp was dismissed and the mass exodus began.  The comments from parents completely changed.  All of the children saw us in creek and thus began the “mommy, can I go in the water?”  “I want to do what those kids are doing”.  The parents all hurried by, only two of them saying that tomorrow they would bring their wellies so that they could go in after camp.  One father, obviously irritated, dragged his daughter (who was clad in shorts and crocs) across the little footbridge saying, “you don’t have the right shoes”.  Other parents were in a rush to get to another activity, “oh no, you have your tennis lesson now” …”mommy has an appointment”.  Some refused to look at me.

What happened to these parents…on the first pass of the bridge, they were reminiscent of their long-gone childhoods, smiling at the sight of two children just “hanging out”…on their return trip they turned into hurried, irritated grown-ups with much more important things to do.

I decided to return the next day, to see if some of the parents brought the kids boots.  This time, on the way to pick up the campers it was, “you guys again…are you going to start sleeping here too?”  “you guys are pretty hard core?” “I guess if it was good one day, might as well do it again?”.  The departure was even quicker and more curt….except for one mom, who stopped at the end of the bridge with three little children and one baby in a car seat, and opened her large sack.  Out of it she pulled three pairs of boots…..”thought we’d join you today, I’m glad to see you’re back”.

Picking Leaves to Float downstream as "boats".

Picking Leaves to Float downstream as "boats".

Splashing

Splashing

At the fishing pond, a short walk from the lower creek.  Second day at the park.  We brought our boats on ribbons.

At the fishing pond, a short walk from the lower creek. Second day at the park. We brought our boats on ribbons.

Who needs a playground and a summer camp?!

Who needs a playground and a summer camp?!

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