We were driving down a street on a fairly nice evening. It was an uneventful ride. We take a left turn and I see a dog park. And it was packed like a Tokyo subway. Dogs were all over the place. Running, racing, romping. It was as active as an e-coli petri dish. The people were huddled in small, tight groups. I wonder if they were segregated by breed or size or prescription drug usage. Whatever the reason everyone in the park was happy and joyful. A hive of activity.
A block down the street I saw a kid park. Unlike the dog park I couldn’t call this a hive of activity. More like a dearth.
There were four kids and four parents. Each group was separated from one another as if they were positive and negative magnets. Something strong was keeping them apart. There was no eye contact, no one was smiling. It seemed as if everyone was told to go to their respective corners and wait for further instruction.
I wondered what would happen if a fifth pair arrived. Would they gang up on them Lord Of The Flies style or maybe they’d kick the weakest link out of the kid park? It was too grizzly a scene to contemplate so I didn’t.
None of the kids could be considered active. They looked as if they were still strapped beyond movement in their car seats. I even questioned the vital signs of one kid as it slumped over a still horse on a spring. I’m sure none of these kids would even put their head up if they heard the all time kid siren – the ice cream truck.
Pulling out of view I started to think about the differences between those two parks. The vast differences in activity, the levels of fun. It just make me think that one group really wanted what it had. And the other? Not so much.