When Worlds Collide

It’s not often that this happens, but this afternoon’s activity merged several of my special interests — stuff to do in Chicago with kids, neighborhood events, and kids’ clothing/shopping — quite nicely. The event which made my mind-meld a reality was the OIPA Parents’ Committee’s 3rd annual Fall Fest at the playground at Disney II. With help from Jenna E., I organized a kids’ clothing swap to complement the event. The clothing swap went quite well, I think. So well that I’d like to find a way to do another one in the spring. I dropped off 3 bins’ worth of clothing to the Salvation Army afterward; we gave away 12+ bins’ worth of stuff during the 2-hour festival.

The most amusing part of the swap for me was when a couple of 7-8-year-old girls came up and asked me where all the girls’ size 8-10 stuff was. When I explained that someone had already claimed it, they looked aghast at the thought. “You mean they just came and took it?!?” Well, yes; that was the point. Apparently, they took the clothing swap for a shopping opportunity.

The Dad came to watch the kids, although Jenna and I took turns “supervising” the swap and hanging out with our families. The Dad was certainly not the only father with babes in arms while mom enjoyed a social moment. I ran into several people I know, which always gives me a sense of satisfaction at community events. It’s so nice to be a part of something.

The park was packed with little kids; I know that The Girl, The Boy, and The Tot certainly got my money’s worth ($3 each) out of the event. The most popular booth was by far the face-painting/hair coloring area, which had a long line throughout most of the event. The Girl came out looking like a pink-and-green fairy, while The Boy’s towhead was temporarily rendered navy blue.

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