happy mother’s day
Yesterday, as I do every Tuesday and Thursday, I took Nat to tennis. While the drive is only fifteen minutes, it takes us to a different world, one where there’s always a police car on duty after 5:00.
One where there are so many signs of struggle, of hardship, of not ever getting ahead, or even keeping afloat.
Sportsmens is a wonderful place that not only teaches kids tennis, but also provides homework assistance after school, turning out some of the most polite kids I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. You can read more about it at http://www.sportsmenstennisclub.org. There are eight indoor courts, countless outdoor and signs of city gardening and other sports. I know you’d love it. Nat has learned a lot and had the opportunity to expand her circle.
While some of the parents drop their kids off, most stay, and sit here. It’s nice enough.
For this I would like to thank you. Because I am your daughter, and have been taught by you, I do not sit there, but go out exploring. You have instilled in me that sense of curiosity and adventure, that need to have new experiences.
I’ll admit I was nervous at first, not seeing many faces that looked like mine. But as people looked me in the eye and with a smile, said “hello”, I felt confident about continuing. So, with each afternoon, my circle gets a little bigger.
Yesterday, as I found myself for the fourth time walking around Frederick Law Olmstead’s Franklin Park, I was so tremendously grateful to witness the rebirth of this beautiful spot day by day, as everything comes alive. But more than that, it was that your voice was inside me, telling me to go out and find beauty and good, as you always do.
Had it not been for you, I would have seen only the sadder images above, never these. Thank you.
Connecting with people has been even more lovely and I wish I had some photographs of some of the people I’ve seen, but I’m not daring enough to start chatting strangers up and then ask for a photo. Here is an example of a really nice human connection. I was walking along the wall below, jumping from one granite block to the next. A perhaps 65 year old man came up from behind and very gently said (he didn’t want to scare me) “Be careful there, ma’am.” Then he winked.
Further on, as I walked through a parking lot with my short skirt, smelling coconut and New York taxi, and saw older men with cans in brown bags throwing dice on plastic covered backgammon boards, I was again surprised. A man with yellow and green paisley jeans and a denim jacket to match, congratulated me that I wasn’t on the couch watching Jerry Springer, and high fived me.
Like you, always happy to travel, I’m grateful to have a journey in my own back yard. Thanks, Mom, for all the wonderful things you’ve shown me and taught me. Happy Mother’s Day.