I love the summer. I don't even mind the heat. I love the long days, with no rush to get anywhere. I loved the trips to Coney Island, the handful of days at the beach, the night we watched the sun set over the Hudson River and I chose not to worry that Eliza was up well past her bedtime and eating ice cream when she didn't touch her dinner.
I love the trip we took to Pittsburgh for my mother's 70th birthday and the two days we visited the water parks.
I spent Labor Day weekend at my mother's house near the Jersey Shore. I chose not to make the annual pilgrimage to C's parents beach house. If you'd read my entry about our Fourth of July weekend, that comes as no surprise. I didn't get home from work until close to 5am on Friday night anyway so I was hardly in the mood to travel 4-6 hours just to go the beach when I can travel for one hour and go to one close to my Mom. Since we'd just returned from a long trip to Pittsburgh, C agreed that strapping Eliza into the car for an extended period of time was best for her either and I go the weekend with my girl.
On Saturday evening, I decided I had to have some kind of wagon, you know like a radio flyer kind of thing, to tote Eliza to the beach when I visit my mother. I dragged Eliza to Target but the only wagon we say was very expensive and too big for me to take out of the store. I decided to take her to a playground. I've seen several along the Bay on the south side of Route 35 and wanted to visit a place different from the playground we regularly stop by.
But every playground I passed, though it looked promising, offered absolutely no parking. The side streets were so narrow, parking along the street was not an option. Eliza sat in the backseat and protested as one playground after another passed her by. The sky grew redder as the night grew darker but it was too late to turn around.
Finally, I found a playground with parking. Only after I pulled in did I see the sign that said it was permit parking only. Apparently the playground was part of some club that probably wouldn't accept me as a member. It was close to 8pm and feeling pretty confident that no one would police the park at that hour, I pulled in. Eliza happily ran out of the car onto the sandy playground, her giggles soaring high into the air. Behind the playground. a group of tween boys played baseball. Three other kids and their caretakers were the only other people at the playground. Eliza raced up a pretty unique kind of jungle gym thing and hid in it's center. It was several tubes that all connected into a cylinder like tunnel that reminded me of a spaceship.
I peered in at Eliza and called her my little astronaut.
She rode the swings, she rode some kind of bouncey seesaw. She was afraid of a steep slide but I finally convinced her to go down it with me. The sun slowly disappeared and one by one, the other people left until we were on the only two people in the park.
"Eliza, it's time to go. It's dark."
"No Mama. It's not dark yet. It's still light. It's not going to rain."
"All the people are gone now honey. We're the only ones here."
"I want to go down the slide with you one more time."
So I did. Here's to the wonderful, long, not so lazy days of summer. I already miss you like crazy.