The New Park across the Street

by Tina Blue
August 8, 2003

          When my friend Randy was three years old, his sister Gina, who was five, used to take him to the park a couple of blocks down the street.

          One day she told Randy she was going to take him to "the new park across the street."

          She took him by the hand and carefully crossed the street.  They began to play on the swings and the slide, having a wonderful time and congratulating themselves over their good luck.  After all, now that there was a park right across the street, they could play there all the time, and still be within view of home.

          But a few minutes after they began to play, an annoyed man came out of the nearby house and chewed them out.  He told them they had to get out of his yard, and that they couldn't play on the swing set he had put up for his own children.

          When I think of this anecdote, I feel sad for the little kids Randy and Gina were, to be chased away from what looked to them like any other public park, though perhaps a bit small and limited.

          And yet I am also charmed by the child's-eye view of the world this story reveals:  to those small children, it wasn't just a swing set in a neighbor's yard, but a "new park across the street," which had appeared virtually overnight.

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