Park LifeLaura Mayes
The first four years of Harry’s life, we lived in Downtown/Museum District Houston, within walking distance of no less than 12 amazing parks. There was the one with the good swings. The one with the butterfly museum. The one with the Japanese Garden. The one with the cool bridge. Just to name four. Park Life was more than a Blur song, it was part of our world – a big part of our world.
Our very favorite one was called Ervan Chew park. It didn’t have a water feature, a fancy garden, or a tourist attraction (or a budget, most likely). It was just the closest one to our house, and it had a merry-go-round that Harry adored and would spend hours on if I let him. I actually get pretty emotional when I think about his hopeful little face looking up to me and saying, “To the park?” Or his blissful little face as he ran sat on his beloved merry-go-round. To me, that will always represent his childhood. It’s like a time-capsule in my mind… A lovely space, frozen in time.
Only a few years later, Harry’s face has lost teeth, his hours are spent at soccer games, and he’s getting a little too tall for my taste. But just the other day, he said, “Mom, do you remember the merry-go-round?” When I assured him that I did, he said, “Those were good times.”
Yes son, yes they were. It seems like another life and it was only a few years ago. It’s all happening too fast.
Life is like a merry-go-round. Sometimes you just feel like you’re going in circles, but when the ride ends, you want to do it again!
But now that we live in a small town outside of Austin, well, there’s kind of a park next to the… no. Or that other green lot by the… no. Well, the closest thing we have to a park is the elementary school playground. Does that count? I don’t think that counts.
As you know, there are many many awesome things about living in my great-grandmother’s house in this small town — stepping back in time to 1940 being one of them. But you know what I miss about city life? Park life.
I miss parks.
Do you have a park that you love? If so, you should go there today, possibly even right now. You should also nominate it for the America Is Your Park Campaign this summer. Coke is doing this smart program where you can vote for your favorite park right here at LivePositively.com/parks to win some awesomeness…The park with the most votes will win a $100,000 recreation grant from the Coca-Cola Live Positively initiative (Second- and third-place parks will receive $50,000 and $25,000 grants, respectively. And one lucky park will be chosen, at random, from the remaining top 25 spots on the leader board to win a $15,000 grant.).
Any park, big or small, can win! I mean, no parks around here can win, because, well, uh, we don’t have any. But I’ll be voting for Ervan Chew park in Houston. Make sure your park is eligible within the contest by checking the Facebook app — you can search under the “vote” tab.
So go vote for your park. You have between now and July 15.
Your park will thank you.
Soundtrack: Park Life by Blur
“This is sponsored content from Babble and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions expressed in the post are my own and not those of Coca-Cola. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Only legal residents of the 50 U.S. (and D.C.) who are at least 13 years old and reside within the U.S. at the time of participation are eligible to vote for a Park. Participate on behalf of a Park by: July 15, 2012. The 3 most popular Parks will be offered a grant and there will be 1 Wild Card drawing at the end of the Contest to award an additional grant. To participate, for Official Rules, and complete details including grant descriptions, visit www.LivePositively.com/parks. Void where prohibited. Click here to see more of the discussion.”