Friday, May 11, 2007

Green Girl

Small Fry and I had a date yesterday. Or more accurately, a "benture." We woke up with nothing to do and no agenda, which is so very rare you know. So, we decided to visit the botanical gardens down in Atlanta. I told her we were going to see some Big Bugs, to which she quite rightly and worriedly asked, "Are they nice bugs, Mama?" I felt like a tourist in a strange, yet strangely familiar, city as we drove by all those tall buildings, one in which I once worked. I was reminded of days many moons ago when I would struggle to get to my lowly intern's desk so I could do my minion bidding for a few hours (for less than minimum wage and far less than minimum treatment) before bursting out the front doors to walk the city streets to Piedmont Park, the gardens, the "cool old house" district and other amazing places (my true purpose for showing up at the lowly intern's desk). Fun lunch hours were followed by the dread of trudging back to the Land of the Idiots only to find my hubcaps stolen or some other such delightful thing. But yesterday. Yesterday, I didn't have to go back to any office full of idiots. Small Fry and I had the whole day to ourselves. She was an awesome escort around the gardens, pointing out every Robin Redbreast, every bug, BIG or normal-sized, every fish and tadpole and smelling every flower, herb and pile of manure in her path. She declared the pink roses her favorite (what do you know?), and she insisted on a picture with every scuplture and fountain. The Green Man, which greets you at the entrance to the children's garden, was one such scupture. Green Man is a mythical half-man, half-plant scuplted with face of kudzu. Yesterday, Small Fry was my Green Girl. And our best new discovery? A splash fountain where little kids are actually encouraged to get drenched, fully clothed. I listened to a group of city moms talking about stuff their kids do - one knowledgeable sort was talking to a newly-transplanted Brit about language lessons. It was a bit of a different world down there. When the kids are small, it's such a hassle to go anywhere that you tend to stay close to home, close to your much-loved buds and ensconced in your comfortable little suburban bubble. Traffic must be avoided at all costs you know. And in the meantime, I forget how much I love the city with its foreign accents and bustling activity and granola moms and business suits and dogs in the park and old houses and Southern charm and everything else. I could imagine us living like a little bohemian family in a high rise overlooking the park and going to art shows on the weekends and walking to the market and going to plays. Not that I'm not perfectly happy in my suburban bubble, but it's fun to try on something new now and then. That's what bentures are all about!

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