“ONE LATE AFTERNOON AT AN INDOOR PLAYGROUND…”

You know how some fast-food restaurants in this big city have their own small playgrounds for visitors/customers with kids. Colourful slides and all. Lack of decent space for children’s actual, outdoor playgrounds in this concrete jungle has made them have to settle for less. Poor things.

It’s the place where children can play after their meals and parents eat and talk to each other while watching their kids nearby from their tables. Of course, some may hire sitters for a close-watch, so the parents can eat in peace.

That afternoon, this is what I’d witnessed:

Four little kids were playing. They were obviously from different racial backgrounds. One boy and three girls, probably about four or five years old. The boy had a light complexion and thick, dark curly hair. He also had thick, dark eyelashes and brows. Hazel eyes and a pointed nose. A handsome little fellow. He could either be from Turkey or some Middle-Eastern country.

One girl had a pale complexion. with slanted dark eyes and a petite figure. Oriental-looking? Another had a really dark complexion, with big brown eyes and beautiful, long black hair tied in a braid. An Indian little girl? Maybe.

The last one was wavy-haired, with brown complexion. Indonesian or some other Southeast Asian? Possibly. I could be wrong. But then again, that was not what had got my attention that day.

The four of them were playing together. No words exchanged, only equally innocent smiles at each other. The boy even helped those little girls climb up the stairs for a slide and more. Not only handsome, but a young gentleman too. He’d probably have a little sister at home.

Then, after a while, one by one their mothers called them. The boy ran to his hijabi mother, waving goodbye to the girls. The Oriental-looking girl was approached by the adult version of her. (Possibly her mother.) Then they left together holding hands. A woman in bright and colourful sari scooped up the dark little girl in her arms and left too.

The last girl was approached by her parents. How did I know? She called them “Papa” and “Mama” cheerfully. The three of them also left.

I sat there for a while, watching the whole scene in awe. Then it hit me:

Why can’t we do that too? Why is it so hard for most of us to be like those four little kids these days?

R.

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