Taking advantage of the few remaining sunny days of fall, I promised the kids we'd go to the park. As usual we didn't get going until almost 11:00 by the time we got both kids dressed and I took a shower and did all my usual puttering.
Finally we left the house, the kids in their stroller and me toting along a leaf rake with a bright yellow handle. The kids wanted to play in the sandbox which is generally covered over with crackling leaves this time of year. We arrived, we raked, we played... and then my phone rang.
The readout had the name of a good friend of mine, SS, who I have not seen for several months. I was surprised and delighted to get a call from her and I answered cheerily.
After the usual greeting she asked me if I'd like to get together. I agreed that we should; it has been a while. She asked me if I'd like to come on over to the park as they were there playing.
"Which park?" I asked.
"Oh, the usual. East City Park. We're there playing and since you live close I thought you might be able to come over."
East City Park was where I was standing, watching my children dump sand into a discarded Dasani bottle. I looked around.
There, not 20 yards from where I sat someone I could not see clearly occupied a picnic table, wearing a purple shirt and talking on her phone, watching her two boys run and jump on the wooden stage.
"I'm at East City Park!" I said laughing and the woman in the purple shirt began waving as laughter rang over my cell phone.
We agreed that circumstances had worked out perfectly and our kids spent a happy hour chasing each other around, laughing and giggling. S and I caught up on each others' news and chatted as moms do, interrupting our conversation here and there to kiss a scraped knee or rush to catch a reckless baby who should not have been climbing up the open, curved ladder to the highest slide but who insisted on doing so anyway even though he often slipped through the bars toward the five-foot plunge below.
At last lunchtime came and with it grouchy kids emerged out of the happy munchkins we formerly had seen. We bid goodbye, still chuckling at how her little phone call had produced such instantaneous results.