Happy Birthday, Non-Schmoozing Park Buddy!

I had nineteen kidless social minutes last week, and so naturally I chose to spend it dropping by Buddy Boy’s soccer game to deliver a birthday coffee to Park Buddy. They’re still in the old neighborhood so we don’t see them nearly enough, but when we do, it’s still love love love for our kids:


Whispering sweet nothings.

Approaching the chilly field that evening last week, I was surprised to see Park Buddy standing apart with the dog. Sipping her latte, she indicated the circle downfield where most of the parents huddled against the San Francisco fog.

Holding warm liquids makes you nice (didn’t you know?), so with only the merest hint of rebuke that PB pointed out how the adults had congealed with their backs to the field, passing around wine bottles and laughing heartily at what was almost certainly humor involving sex or gall bladders — you know, adult stuff.

I’ve sat through enough kids’ soccer games to see the benefit in having a tipple during. But I also know what it means to see your grownup (beverage in hand, even) cheering you on. I was, I’ll admit it, a bit appalled at the parents’ lack of manufactured team spirit.

And then it hit me — Boo and I are just now getting into playgroups and school soon and all the rest of it. It’s just possible that I’ve shown myself to be a little judgmental about weird-ass parenting behavior. (Just once. Or twice. Or thirty-seven times.) How am I going to handle enforced relationships with people who ignore their kids?

She’s still my mentor — I’ll do as Park Buddy did: stand down the field, with a coffee, and yell all the more.