Our local parks have became Makeout Central.
Meanest Mom Jana Mathews: The parks in my town serve as designated meeting places for several groups of people. In the middle of any given weekday, you will find moms with toddlers and preschool-aged children, grandparents and grandchildren, and truant teenagers from the alternative high school.
Last week, we had a playdate at a park that had a large, tubular slide. My six-year-old daughter climbed up the ladder and then climbed back down.
"Why didn't you go down the slide?" I asked her.
"I tried," she explained, "but it's clogged."
I stuck my head up the bottom end far enough to see a young couple making out. "GET OUT OF THERE NOW!" I roared.
A few seconds later, a teenage boy wearing skintight jeans and shoes without laces exited the tunnel. A few more seconds later, his equally well-dressed lady friend followed. Without a backward glance at the picnic table full of evil-eyed moms, the couple sauntered off hand in hand.
The next day, we tried a different park, one with no enclosed spaces and no public bathrooms. Within a few minutes, a compact car pulled into the parking lot, blaring uplifting music. Five teenagers piled out and made their way to a picnic table at the far end of the park. Within seconds, the sweet aroma of marijuana wafted onto the playground.
Since I had broken up the lovebirds the day before, the task of breaking up this party fell to one of my friends. She went over to talk to the teenagers and came back having been told where to go and given the bird.
I've talked to moms all over the country and their experiences at the park are remarkably similar to mine. This begs the question: WHAT IS HAPPENING TO OUR PARKS? Is the park still a positive environment for our kids?
|Jana Mathews is the mother of "four under five" and the author of The Meanest Mom blog.|