Our Day at the Park
By: Kacie Bernstein
I finally did it. I took my kids to the park alone! My husband and mom have no issues taking them alone, but for me, well it just gives me way too much anxiety. There is a sweet little park down the street from our house; it is completely gated and my kids can use all of the equipment on their own. I loaded us up with tons of snacks, sand toys, and of course a cell phone in case we needed backup. I felt proud and accomplished; as moms of two or more know, this can be quite challenging.
More kids were entering the play area, but my attention was focused on two boys, probably 5 and 7, who were quite rambunctious. They were just being boys, climbing on top of the monkey bars, in capes, and jumping off. It made me nervous, and I was hoping that my son wouldn’t try to jump on the band wagon. I kept looking around –who was responsible for these boys? I asked if they were here with their mommy and they replied, no their babysitter. I saw a young girl sitting on the outside of the gated park…with her back to the play area. I was in shock, as were the other parents. These boys did not need a playing companion but someone to watch them and make sure they were being safe. I kept debating whether to say something. After all, was it really my place? Should I just mind my own business?
This went on for another 30 minutes. One of the boys left the gated area to go down a little hill that led to the LA River, which was completely out of eyeshot. WE all saw him leave, but the babysitter, not so much. That was it, I had to say something, after all, no one else was! I shouted to the woman that the child had just run down the hill. She replied, “that’s ok.” I shouted back with anger, “‘that’s ok’ to have your back to these children and not be aware of what they are doing?!” Her response: “they are fine.”
I was in disbelief, and my great day at the park with my kids had turned into disgust and anger. I couldn’t take it anymore and decided it was time to leave. I contemplated asking for the parents’ number to let them know about their terrible babysitter, but decided against it. I wished that I hadn’t; that morning haunted me all day!