summer in the park again

running through the waterspouts
Originally uploaded by Liz Henry.

I’m still sick, but took Moomin to the park. It was summery, hot but with a cool breeze, and I put the blanket in the shade so I could lie down.

Moomin was skeptical as we waited 5 minutes for the water to turn on. (It comes on at particular times every day.)

“You can take off your shoes and feel the cool grass between your toes.”

“Um, but what if there’s dirt? Or sticks? My feet will get dirty.”

“It’s okay to get dirt on feet. That’s what feet are for. Seriously it’s okay.”

“Um, yeah right. I don’t think so. I would rather put on my sandals.”

Oooookay. And then he was super scared of the water fountains. Magic! As soon as they came on and he stuck his toes in, he got excited and ran — barefooted — back to the blanket to put on his bathing suit! Ran back to the water! Ran, yelled, splashed, and got wet all over. That’s never happened before.

After a while the big kids descended, play got a little rougher, and he came back shivering in the breeze. I was so happy to see him all frisky and daring!

We missed Squid, but a bunch of other bad moms were there on the blankets, chatting & watching the kids run around. Sophie was modest about running around in underwear. “No! I just want to go in the water in my jeans!!” I lent her Moomin’s shorts, but she was still embarrassed. “Don’t look at me! Don’t even THINK about me!” she screamed from behind a tree while putting on the shorts. I tried to persuade her that no one cares if it’s your underwear as long as you’re still a little kid, and also told her the horrible story about a girl who went in a pool in her jeans and fell asleep and woke up with the jeans shrunk and no circulation. “They had to cut off her legs,” added Jo helpfully. (We were trying to avoid having to deal with wet jeans in the car.) “You’ll have no legs, and you’ll never get married!” someone else said. There was a pause as we all considered the completely wrong implications of that statement… “Oh. Hmm. No. I had not considered… I take that back especially considering the company I’m in.” “Yeah. Don’t get married.” *gales of inappropriate laughter from moms” I think we succeeded in embarrassing her over this more than the underwear-embarrassment, because she finally ran off to play in the water.

We had popsicles, ring pops, and realistic candy cigarettes with powdered sugar and filter tips. Jo shared watermelon and potato chips.

Before the crowd descended, Moomin cuddled up to me. We looked up at the trees, where two kites were stuck. “If I had a brontosaurus, it could get those kites. Or if I had a robotic telescoping arm. That would be useful! Or, maybe just a very stretchy arm.” He’s been reading Plastic Man comic books. I lay there feeling very sentimental about his dreamy imagination. I’m glad his imaginary-friend brontosaurus is still around.

It was summery in every possible way!

But I still have bronchitis, and I’m in bed again, ready for a nap.

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