At the time I had a 4 and 2 year old and A was just a baby (born 6 months before the expat adventure began) and I found that no matter what park I visited I usually ran into one or two Asian grandparents with their grandchildren. We live in a very international neighborhood.
However, today we hit the jackpot. There must have been about 15 grandparents there, they all seemed to know each other and there were strollers everywhere and lots of kids playing.
But the interesting thing was what was going on in the gazebo (don't worry, nothing bad!!). One gentleman had set up a stereo of some sort and they were playing classical music. Then a group of men and women gathered around the table and they began doing stretching exercises. Someone must have been leading because they were all doing the same thing, and chatting in what I think was Chinese (...sorry I am no linguist, though I was once the Japanese Bilingual Teacher in a third grade classroom.....nope, I don't know any Japanese....long story)
There were also several of them lined up along one of the sidewalks doing what I think was TaiChi (they were moving almost in unison, making slow deliberate motions with their hands and feet).
So, I am sitting there, reading my magazine and snacking on less than healthy food while I watch my kids play. And I am thinking how fit and happy these people look. And I am wondering why we don't see your typical gaggle of American moms standing at the park doing some sort of exercises....I don't know, stretching?, yoga?....something. Okay, I admit it....most of us would think that we looked silly and would be too self-conscious. These ladies and gentleman I was watching didn't care though. I was jealous of them! Really, I was!
So, maybe someone out there should start a park revolution...a transformation of the stay-at-home-mom's park day scene. Someone really should. Not me. I don't do revolutions. I do that joining thing. So....let me know if you get something going in California....the north part...somewhere. Thanks!