Our little 2 yr. old girl and her best friend, Eleanor, sliding in a play-space contraption at the park. It’s a big park tons of kids and many groovy things to climb, swing and spin on. The plastic blue double slide calls them and adjacent to that a platform connects a circular table with plastic walls, window and roof. The kids who sit there get to pretend they are in the 2cnd story of a house. Sure enough two cute boys about 5 years old with longish hair like little rock stars, they even remind me of Jian Ghomeshi and Jim Cuddy.
While the girls scoot down the slide I notice the boys have an idea. They are climbing through the window onto the roof placing them about 24 feet in the air on a pitch that is not too frightening yet no parent would approve. Is there a mother or father nearby about to scream “get the fuck off the roof Jim and Jian!” No such luck. Yours truly is the adult on duty and when the first boy met my eyes he gave me a good future poser rock star gaze, the kind that some people have turned into a career.
“That’s not so safe” I say trying to be a friendly policeman.
“You aren’t our parents” said #1.
“You don’t even know who are parents are!” says #2 and #1 interrupts him “You aren’t going to find out either”.
“You should come down from there, it isn’t safe you know”.
“What if I throw sand at you?” says #1. Uncanny how this little devil reminds me of the adult for whom he bears a resemblance.
He throws sand on the ground and stares me down. My little girl is ready to slide again and I assist her. How did these tiny boys become kids with this sense of entitlement? Comfortable to talk to adults using threats and defiance? I’m liking my new fantasy wherein I grab both boys and force them to the safety of the floor below while they kick and scream that I’m an unfair asshole and they’re going to tell their parents etc. Maybe some popular 5 year old girls will witness this scene piling on more humiliation for the soon-to-be damaged-memories of ‘lil Jim and Jian. Plus I was never interviewed on Q for my last album so it’s payback on other levels too.
Superb fantasy …until my daughter walks off with Eleanor and Eleanor’s mother to the sandy area where toy cars are calling them. I look around again wishing there was an opportunity to tell the parent(s) of these sweet angels what’s happening and let them take over, whatever that means for them and their sons.
The boys get one last look of disapproval and I try conjuring psychic powers to make them reconsider becoming boy scouts. More sand is thrown on the ground, ciao ciao dudes. And what if they fall? What if they break something? What if they become paralyzed? If they get injured I’ll regret being the adult who could have forced them down and didn’t. I might even be on Q but for the wrong reason.