Monday, August 24, 2009

Wedding Bells and Baseball Fields

Luckily, our school was located directly across from Seneca Park. On weather permitting days, our little first grade class lined up like sardines, waiting quite impatiently to adventure off school property. The boys gleamed with delight, for they knew this was their chance to get dirty. Baseball fields were the perfect spot for making mud pies. The boys lined the bases and wiped their fingers through the dust, but on days following a rainstorm, this dust turned into a squishy mud mess.

We were a little wiser, or so we thought, in our recess location and opted to run through the never-ending fields and amuse ourselves with our imagination. The oak trees were not just the homes of squirrels on squirrel day, but they provided heaps of acorns to collect for our pretend pets. Our teachers always brought toys, like hoola hoops, for us to use at the park. We connected the hoola hoops with rope and used them as carriages that led us off into a world of "happily ever after". Depending on the latest Disney movie, we chose which princess we wanted to become for the afternoon.

While several girls read in the shade or practiced secret handshakes with a friend, the majority of us had a special pastime. We loved to compose weddings! Not just a typical wedding; these were extravagant! Beautiful flowers filled the park along with Cinderella's carriage, but we were always missing one key component-- a groom!

All of us knew there would be no wedding without a groom, so we selected our crush, the cutest boy in high school, as our groom. He was an obvious choice as our prince, although even in our immature minds, we knew he was truly unattainable. The first-grade girls squabbled over who was to be the bride every afternoon at Seneca Park. Those who were not chosen acquired the duty of drawing the carriage or being the audience. Our invisible groom waited for us at the end of the aisle, and the music played in our heads, but very r
arely did we make it to this point in the wedding. All too soon we heard, "Girls, it's time to line up, Recess is over!" It seemed like every day the wedding was cut short, all because we spent so much time arguing over who would be the bride.

It seems ridiculous, now, that we would waste so much time arguing over a little recess fun, but not much changed from first to twelfth grade. Even though we no longer venture to Seneca Park, our lives are still filled with little disputes that drive away our precious time. There are still dreams I want to accomplish and grooms some need to meet, but most of the time, these goals are left untouched because, time and time again, our focus is blurry. I wonder how different things would be if we had looked at it all in a different light-- If we had known in the first grade that all we needed to do to find our own groom was run to the baseball field and grab a muddy little boy.

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