Seeds of Friendship

Tonight I needed some Elf and Mummy time, so I took him for a fast food frosty. and then we wanted to go to the park, but dusk is coming earlier now and I am new to this city and not feeling my street safe smart comfort zone here yet in the hours after dinner…

So we started to walk home and I told him he could run through the play ground at his school, as it is only a few blocks from home. This school is in the midst of a really cool neighbourhood. I am very much a minority in all my blond white lady legginess. I have felt really self conscious in the mornings and afternoons, doing the school drop offs and pick ups, because even at my least modest ( a pair of not too short cut of jean shorts and a teeshirt) I am very much under dressed compared to the women I encounter on the school grounds. I am talking long draping things made of wonderful woven fabrics, burkas, lots of layers of silk and such. So I smile and try to make eye contact and look and feel as friendly as possible, but not take it personally when sometimes that is not returned in kind. Not that we have run into any unfriendliness. Just I think my global consciousness kicking in a bit.

Anywhooo, so Elf ran off into the play ground, and I watched with curiosity as some teenage boys poured 2 water cooler sized containers of water down a little hill, apparently in preparation for some sort of bike riding dare devil stunt as far as I could figure. (If anyone knows what else they might have been up to Im open to suggestions) A few minutes later along came one of his classmates out of a path that leads from a housing complex on one side of the school property. and the next thing I knew they were running off to ask another Mother if they could go play road hockey on the parking lot next door. So I shrugged and let Elf grow some inches on his independence wings…

And then I inched my way closer to the other Mother, as I recognized her from our mornings waiting for the bell to go and lineups to form. I said hi and also to the woman beside her. We began talking and my my she is a lovely friendly thing! Another woman soon came to sit, an Aunt I imagine, and they sat and ate their container of sunflower seeds, and we talked about our new city. How they had moved here 15 years ago, and their children had all gone to this school. How it was nice and friendly and not too big and how there are a lot of people from different places. How this particular family had moved here from Kosovo, well to another city, been sent to Montreal and then 14, YES 14 families all came to This city together to the same apartment complex and since they could actually speak the language, and all knew each other and got along, they stayed. My heart was so full of hope in that moment, that people from war torn lives could settle here, make a community and that even though each of the 3 women asked in their broken English if I had come here with my husband, and sort of looked at my tanned legs a bit differently when I said no (why o why are shorts a source of self consciousness and a symbol of status/life style I wonder?!) they were still so friendly with me.

After a while I decided that Elf had strayed far enough for my comfort and I could see that he was starting to edge back in the directions of where I was. So I said some Nice to have talked to yous and see you tomorrows and caught up with him.

I LOVED THIS EVENING! It was like stepping a little bit into our new community. And now I have a new aspiration for my To Do In This Lifetime. I want so badly for those women to invite me to sit on that little play ground wall and eat sunflower seeds with them! Time (and longer leg wear) will hopefully find this dream a reality!

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