Again, a little belated, but most sincere recounting of some of the interesting things that happened that weekend.
On Sunday, Golden Delicious was wearing an all-American outfit: denim capris, denim jacket and a cute little white t-shirt with a heart out of American flag (yes, I know, I did not play with dolls enough when I was younger; blame it on my pest of a brother). Anyway, she and I went to our favorite haunt: "pak". On the way there, all of a sudden she demanded to get off the train, and the explanations that this is not the park stop yet did not help. "I want to get off train now!" How can I reason with a two year old and explain to her that getting off in a very unsavory neighbourhood was not an option? Finally, an inspiration struck, and I offered to get off our train and go on another one (basically, transfer from local to express, which would mean that we would have to enter park from south, instead of north). She agreed immediately, and upon boarding an express visibly perked up. It took me a little while to figure out that she had almost no people to observe on the local, hence: "I want to get of train now!"
After she livened up on the train, she demanded the Golden Snitch off my bag. I tried to explain that she already got one from the same source; no effect; then, being a toddler, she immediately switched to something else, and demanded my "Potter/Weasly 08" big button. Oh, this promised to be so much fun! I asked if she wanted to play with it, or pin on on her jacket. Of course, she wanted it on her jacket (and she was proudly sporting that button for the rest of the day). For my enjoyment, I got few dirty looks at Whitehall to the tune of "look at that disgusting woman, using her toddler to promote her political views"!
Later one, Mini Me suffered a terrible disappointment, because her cool and favorite aunt was unable to retrieve a huge blue ball that was happily swimming in the Hudson together with some other trash.
We revisited the pleasure of walking barefoot on the grass, having a little picnic in the fresh air, and observing the tourists and locals alike enjoying the long-overdue spring weather.
On Monday, we ended up in the same favorite place (different outfit, just as cute, "Potter/Weasly" button back on my bag). That day we went on the big girls' swings (by "self" and on my lap both). It was another day of gorgeous weather and outdoor enjoyment (too many people out, but you can't win everything).
Then, later on, yours truly, Mini Me, baby, Yamy (grandma), and Mama (my sis) all had a chance to observe what happens when people cook in their own juice too much and not favour socializing with outsiders (never mind decent manners). There was a whole clan of people from the neighbourhood either next to ours or very close to it (draw your own conclusions). They snubbed Mini Me when she wanted to observe one of the babies in that group. She loves doing that: observing babies, even though she calls it "talk to baby". I was really burning to give them a piece of my mind, but finally just removed my niece with a loud explanation to the tune that we do not need to talk to that baby (which, of course, went totally over the top). Then, this wonderful group appropriated all the bouncing balls that park rangers leave on the lawn for the kids to play. I mean, they were just holding them, just in case their offspring would want to use them. Hurray for Yamy: she appropriated one of these balls at the first opportune moment. Then, they decided to have picnic, and, since the men in that group could not comfortably seat on the grass, that with their beer guts and all, so, they decided to take all the kiddie chars from the nearby table games (again set up by park rangers for kids that come to the park). Again, hurray for Yamy, who tried to explain to these people from the tribe of Mumba Yumba that those chairs were for kids. By the way, when we were leaving the park, we passed one of the younger women from that aristocratic group, who gifted us with long stares and dirty looks. Ah, life!
On the balance, we witnessed another example of the club membership. As we were slowly strolling through WFC towards our parking space, a little girl of about nine politely asked me if she could use my cell phone to call her parents, since she and her brother got separated from them. As I was frantically searching for the phone in my bag, which resembles Mary Poppins's in size, if not in content, I realized that somebody was getting hysterical in the near vicinity. The younger brother of the girl was screaming and jumping in fright; she was trying to pacify him! Just as I located my stupid electronic device, she perked up and told me that she sees her parents. Needless to say, we made sure they really got to their parents. But, goodness, another member!
On a very serious note: unfortunately, like many other things related to our history, Constitution, politics, and so on, a lot of Americans have no clue that Memorial Day is not just a Monday off, which signifies the official beginning of the AC season, barbecue, and another round of sales. It actually used to be a specific day on the calendar, not just a Monday. It supposed to be precisely what it is called: a day of remembering.
Remembering that yes, as cliche as it sounds, freedom is not free. Remembering that our Armed Forces are, and always were, necessary to our protection and survival. Remembering that they consist of American people who willingly entered that service; people who deserve at least our support, never mind gratitude, not constant unfounded accusations and harassment.
According to some of the things I read, Memorial Day used to have a Moment of Silence for the fallen warriors, which was observed by civilians too, not just the military. So, let us just have a private moment of silence and reflection. May G-d protect our soldiers and our country!