The May Queen and her friends were ready to leave the boat I had been rocking to run off and play on another part of the playground. I headed back to the book I had left sitting on the bench. On the other end of the bench sat a mother with a baby in a front carrier. As I sat down she apologized.
"For what? It's a public bench."
"My shoulders needed a break," she said, rocking the swinging bench with one foot.
"I remember those days," I said, admiring her baby.
"I just said to my husband 'Look at that mom over there. READING. With four water bottles at her feet. She must have a whole crew here.'"
I laughed. "I only have one, so I invited the neighbors along so I could sit and read. I remember when my daughter was little watching the moms with magazines sitting on benches with a great deal of longing."
"But I was just watching your daughter there with your husband, as they bounced on that platform. The way they giggled. I miss that."
She nodded. Her baby fussed. Too much stillness. "Time to get moving" she said as she got up and bounced her way over to join her older child and her husband at the swing set.
And I went back to my book.