This was not a trip that involved a lot of planning. I looked up and thought, "Oh, no, if I don't get this boy some exercise he's going to spend the evening bouncing off the walls." So I bundled him into the car, drove up to the Bouncy Place, and turned him loose.
It was about 4:45 when we got there, which gave us a bit over an hour until the place closed at 6:00. Firstborn threw himself onto the equipment with considerable abandon, while I stood around and played Angry Birds. Occasionally I would look up and make sure he wasn't doing anything too suicidal or otherwise socially inappropriate.
On one of those occasions, I found him starting to climb up onto the top of one of the structures. The conversation went a bit like this:
Me: Firstborn! I don't want you climbing up there.
Firstborn: But Otherboy is doing it!
Me: That's between Otherboy and his parents. Look, I know you can do it, but it isn't safe. The floor over here is basically concrete, so if anybody falls they're going to get hurt.
...And then my brain caught up with the situation. I had wondered, vaguely, how Firstborn knew Otherboy's name. I mean, he's played with kids at the Bouncy Place before, but he doesn't usually think to ask what their names are, let alone remember well enough to call them by name. So now I found myself looking at Otherboy, and sure enough - the kid really does look like Otherboy, who attends Firstborn's gymnastic classes with him. And the girl who's playing with them certainly looks like Otherboy's older sister. And that means that maybe...?
So I call the sister by name, and sure enough she turns around and comes over. Which means that we really have run into some of Firstborn's old friends (inasmuch as a five year old can have "old" friends). A couple of questions later, I've learned that all three of the Otherkids are here, and that their father has brought them - probably for the same reason I brought Firstborn.
It wasn't planned, as their father confirmed when he wandered over. It was just one of those happy coincidences that we'd all decided to come out to the same place at the same time.
Then, on Sunday, my parents took us down to the Dallas World Aquarium. This place is awesome, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. For one thing, it's not just an aquarium; it also has birds and monkeys and otters and penguins and even a jaguar. (The jaguar was asleep the first time we wandered past; on our second pass, she was awake and regally ignoring us.) For another thing, the whole place is carefully... "layered" is the best word I can come up with. There's a sort of winding path that you follow past the exhibits, but it swings around and crosses over (and under!) itself, so you can see things from new angles and perspectives.
And while we were there, a little girl ran up to Firstborn and greeted him by name. Firstborn turned around, gave her a great big smile, and said, "Oh, hi, ClassmateGirl!" And then he went over and gave her a great big hug. And, of course, I didn't have the camera out, so I couldn't capture the paralyzing display of cuteness that entailed. The girl, it turned out, attends kindergarten with Firstborn.
So, yeah. Apparently this weekend was devoted to running into friends of Firstborn in odd places. It was a funny but very pleasant bit of synchronicity. Also, it's kind of reassuring to be reminded that we have the sort of kid who other kids are happy to see.
Just for fun, there's another sort of synchronicity below the cut: