Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Summer of Dirt Merchants and Petal Pushers

This summer is almost over and work looms in the distance. It has been an interesting recess for the girls and I. [We've visited the park just about every day this summer. In doing so, we've had the opportunity to meet and make some great friendships. Some of them have come and gone. However, of the many park pals that Sadia has made this summer, these six have withstood the test of time.]* A few things come to mind as I look at these pictures of Sadia and her park pals:
  • 1) These six (Nadia not pictured) were so apprehensive when they first met back in June. Who knows what was going through their minds as they stood at a safe distance away from one another, curious about the different faces that stood before them, but not piqued enough to engage.

  • 2) I can't even recall what happened that finally broke the ice between them (it was probably over a food item [I find food to be the great equalizer among toddlers]), but looking at them floundering around in the sand pit, you'd never know that at one point within them arose so many questions.

  • 3) I am thankful of the diversity that thrives in our neighborhood. I didn't always feel this way. In fact, at one point my fears of rejection got the best of me. I projected my own insecurities onto Sadia by keeping her in a isolated part of the park. Overcoming my own apprehension became the catalyst for change.

I refer to this piece as Dirt Merchants. Pictured from left to right: Eilena (Syrian), Sadia (African-American-French), Sarah (Filipino), Michael (Caucasian), Kalie (Caucasian), and Nadia (not pictured; Iranian).

Michael takes a quick manhood security risk analysis. Image is everything, and he wasn't going to jeopardize being seen playing such a girly game as Ring-Around-the-Rosie for anyone.

I call this piece: Petal Pusher because Simone loves to push her fingers through the blades of grass, clench a handful of leaves, jerk the poor petals up from the ground, and then cram as many as she can get into her nosy mouth.

Michael and Sadia huddle over fruit snacks.

Simone often will fix her imitation phone (also known as her hand) to her ear to copy mommy when she's on the phone.

Thank you Lisa for pointing out the missing connection.


Brazenlilly said...

Oh my gosh, Dionne, that picture of the little boy is so funny! And Simone is beyond cute. I just want to kiss her cheeks. Tell her to give me a call. ;)

Lisa P said...

Great reflections! Are these neighbors, friends from the park? I'm missing the connection that brought you together so much this summer.

I'm with brazenlilly--kiss those cheeks for us.

Diane Davis said...

these are great pictures. your girls are beautiful. and i'm so happy to hear that you are expanding yourself to break some of the cycles you have written about. you're such a good mom. :)

Pot Liquor said...

Jen, Simone has some chunky cheeks, but you're gonna have to stand in line to get a kiss.

Lisa, thanks for pointing out the missing connection. I didn't realize that in changing the title (from "Park Pals" to "The Summer of Dirt Merchants and Petal Pushers") the nature of their association was lost. My bad. BTW.., praise God on the opportunity to go to India! Namasté!

Diane, It has been a process and it seems like the more I understand, the further I'm stretched in terms of opening up and trusting. It's difficult but worth it.


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