Next door to our apartment building is Bright Horizons, an early education and day care center. Each morning, beginning before seven, we watch parents arrive to take in babies in carriers, walk hand in hand with toddlers and run behind racing three-year-olds into the building. Between four and six in the evening, the same process takes place but in the other direction.
During the day, now that the weather permits, we see groups of children and their caretakers wander around in the yard and play areas. They seem to have plenty of tiny tricycles, which the children occasionally ride but more often push around, walking and leaning on them like their great-grandmother with her walker.
Occasionally, and I assume this is a special treat and perhaps a reward for exceptionally good behavior, several of the staff will line up ten or twelve kids and walk them up and down the sidewalk when traffic is sparse. They also have these enormous baby buggies that will host six babies at a time, and two of these get pushed around the circle in the parking lot to give even the babes a bit of fresh air.
Lately in the morning, I have noticed how many of the parents, having deposited their prides and joys in the hands and care of the Bright Horizon ladies (as far as I can tell, it is all women), will stop as they walk back to their cars and peer inside the large windows for a last look at the children. Some of them, the men in particular, will wave and jump up and down to attract the attention of their progeny.
It is really quite charming.