By Guest Blogger, Christina Simon
When my kids were toddlers I used to take them to West Hollywood Park a few times a week. Now that they are 7 and 10, I realized recently that we hadn’t been there in a really long time.
I have such great memories of spending mornings and afternoons at that park. The fenced, gated toddler area with the shade canopy was the perfect play area for my active son. We’d play for hours on the slides, swings and in the sand. Toys were always shared. It’s a great place for twins too. The gated toddler area makes life a lot easier if you have two kids running in opposite directions, as one of my friends did.
Sometimes, we’d see other nannies and kids we knew. Often, I’d find other moms to chat with. Generally the conversation was about our kids. Sometimes it would be about fashion or work. It was just a nice break for me as a Stay At Home Mom, from what could be a long day with two young kids.
I remember one hilarious incident with another mom. It was late afternoon and I was there with a friend. We were sharing snacks with other moms and kids. I offered this mom some of my son’s Nacho Cheese Doritos (Gasp!). I know, I know! Not a healthy snack, but one I had quickly grabbed to make sure we had something. The other mom had brought farm-raised Salmon and Cous-Cous from Whole Foods. She made a big deal about rejecting the Doritos, telling me and everyone else that her son only ate healthy, organic food. I was gracious and didn’t take offense to the statement. Then, a funny thing happened. She ate her kid's snack. He got hungry. He had a meltdown. She came up to me and in a whisper, asked, “do you have any chips left?” I handed them to her and she fed them to her fussy little boy. The wonderful thing about this incident was the other moms and I exchanged glances and eye rolls, but said nothing.
I love West Hollywood Park. When my kids got to be about 4 and 7 years old, the big kids play area was so much fun. I’d take them there after school and they’d swing or bring their scooters or bikes. I always knew I’d run into friendly moms I could sit with. My kids almost always found new friends or would run into friends they knew from school. They’d come home dirty and tired, but ready to go back the next day.
West Hollywood Park lets you check out basketballs and other play equipment for free. Coach Samir, one of the most popular kids sports coaches, teaches all kinds of classes there, from soccer to basketball. Birthday parties at the park offer a big, clean bouncy house.
Not all parks in LA are as great as West Hollywood. I’ve spent endless days at other parks in this city where the kids don’t play together, toys are not shared and moms don’t speak.
West Hollywood Park will always bring back such great memories for my family. It’s a warm, friendly, fun place. If you’re looking for a community park, take your child and see what happens. The last time I was there, about six months ago, my son was playing basketball. It wasn’t long before other kids joined him for a game. We’ll have to go back soon. Very soon.
West Hollywood Park 647 N. San Vicente/Melrose, www.weho.org
Fun And Sports, Coach Samir: www.funandsports.org.
Christina Simon is the mom of a daughter (10) and a son (7). She is the co-author of Beyond The Brochure: An Insider’s Guide To Private Elementary Schools In Los Angeles. She writes about private elementary schools at www.BeyondTheBrochure.blogspot.com.
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