Saturday Stories: A Girl Named Chloe

We took the boys to the park Saturday morning. Because it was nearly seventy degrees outside. And I’ve come to the conclusion that weekends are most successful when we leave the house for a few hours. Every day. Also, my new goal in life is to wear the boys out so that they’ll fall asleep before ten o’clock at night. It’s sort of working: they’ve been asleep by nine the last few nights. But I’m so tired I could fall asleep by seven.

We were the only people at the park except for a dad and his two kids who were riding their bikes on the paved courtyard. Actually it was mostly the dad and his son. His little girl, named Chloe, abandoned the bike riding when she saw there were kids playing at the playground. And the dad, being a dad, didn’t seem as nervous as a mom would have been about his girl keeping company with strangers.

The baby took his morning nap in the carseat. And I sat in the pea gravel reading my book. Looking up occasionally at the three kids running around. The Gort, leading the way, Chloe who was trying to keep up with our oldest and the Hen, who was doing his best to keep up with the other two. Eventually they meandered to the merry go round where another recently-arrived girl joined them.

‘That’s quite a brood you have,’ the recently-arrived girl’s mom commented to me by way of introduction. I smiled and nodded, because I’ve already been made aware that my three-boy family is ‘big’. But after I nodded I wondered if she’d thought that Chloe was ours. Too. Chloe, who was the same size as the Hen and probably no more than a year older. Yowzers.

‘She’s not ours,’ I wanted to protest. But thought that sounded presumptuous or overly defensive. And maybe she did think three boys constituted a big brood.

I looked over at the merry go round. The Hen, who is easily scared, was lying on his stomach on the base of the rotating disc. A ‘this-isn’t-fun’ look upon his face. Chloe was lying on her stomach too. They were holding hands. Which was possibly the most adorable thing I’d seen in my life. (Besides my boys hugging in the kitchen this evening.) And of course it happened the morning I’d decided against bringing the camera.

Chloe’s dad walked over, and her brother joined the merry go round fun. Chloe’s dad was a lot more fit than the rest of us and graciously volunteered to give the merry go round one last killer spin. The Hen was still lying on his belly, too scared to move. ‘Here, hold my hand,’ Chloe ordered as she stretched out her hand.

When the spinning stopped they parted ways, and we walked over to the adjacent smaller playground. Where the ‘broody’ mom’s husband was playing with their other kid. He surveyed our contingent. ‘Three boys?’ he asked the professor. ‘And a girl!’ his wife added. Confirming my suspicion from earlier.

‘No, she’s not ours,’ we set the record straight.

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