Revision of an earlier post:
I love, love living in the city during the summer. It was amazing last year because we had a bit more money to throw around, so we went to the various fests in the neighborhoods. This year we are scoping out the beach and Movies in the Park.
Have Stepson this weekend and he got dropped off a little later in the afternoon, so we ran a couple errands, got a bite to eat and then went to the beach for about a hour and half before it closed. Time filled with splashing, boat racing, and sand castle building. It was relaxing and bonding and amazing. Then we came home, rinsed off, all three of us snuggled in the bed for some Phineas and Ferb, then he and Husband read a couple books and then he conked out in his own bed. Magic.
I, for whatever reason, am trying to squeeze the best out of this summer. Again, I think it’s from a big influence of kellehampton.com. And having these moments, just the three of us, whether it’s running around in the water splashing each other or laughing while Stepson shows us ‘magic’ … I feel content. I am striving to feel content on the weekends, weeknights, and especially at work. It’s happening slowly but surely at work. Letting things go and indulging myself in the toddler’s way of life, view of play, is making the work day go by faster and with more fun.
Today we got up, breakfast, and went to the zoo, despite the heat. We spent four and a half hours there. We saw the animals, went to the splash pad, played on the playground, and got caught in a storm with 92 mph winds while on the tram. I wanted to jump ship once I saw the normally docile geese running for their lives, but Husband insisted we were fine … and then the hail hit as the poor tour guide began to talk about the camels, who were cowering in their house like most of the other animals.
Yeah, that really happened. The tram made an emergency stop at the Australia House where we checked out the wombats and studied the fruit bats for the next twenty minutes, until the storm blew down to a gentle drizzle. We were resilient enough to stick around after that, and were the only ones on the tram, so the tour guide sat and talked with us about the various animals as we rode to the next stop.
It was a great day, and a wonderful adventure.
Have to say this: I’m a little disappointed by the lack of enthusiastic, out with the kids posts on the blogs I read. A lot of the posts I’ve read are like ‘Oh it’s hot … we’re inside playing with our iPads’. I’m sorry what? It’s SUMMER! Yes, it’s hot, so … get a kiddie pool! Go to the local pool! Put out the sprinkler! I feel like no one is embracing the adventure of summer, and that makes me so sad. We only get Stepson on the weekends, and when we have him, I want him to have a GOOD TIME. Especially when it’s like this, all sunny skies and cool breezes and get out and play time. I feel so caged and forced to boredom during the winter that I NEED to be out and about during the good weather.
I was talking about this with Husband on the way home tonight. I clearly remember being a kid and at times feeling … restless during the weekends. I wanted to go somewhere, explore, take an unexpected trip. But my parents had chores and errands on the weekend, and I didn’t have my own money or any idea how to settle the stir inside me … so I read. When Husband and I were dating, and had a better luxury of money, that’s when I started to really feed my restlessness. We were completely spontaneous — there were little things, like making a day of it at the zoo or going to a pumpkin patch, and then there were big things, like driving two or so hours out to a dairy farm (Fair Oaks) or making a hotel reservation at 10 am on a Saturday and spending that night in Indianapolis.
I loved the adventure, and I love having someone who is right there with me to go on a spontaneous trip. Like coming home from a trip and taking a detour to a zoo you just happened to see an exit billboard for, but never knew was there. Thursday I texted Husband during work and said, ‘Here’s the plan. Pack my swimsuit, two towels, and a waterbottle. Wear yours and pick me up from work ’cause we’re going to the beach!’ And we did. Or a couple weeks ago when we woke up on a Sunday morning, went to church, and decided on the walk back to the apartment that we were going to spend the day downtown. A text to my sister, who was staying in a downtown hotel, and we ended up spending an amazing day with her and her boyfriend.
I feel it already inside me that, if we have kids, I know how it’s going to be … memberships to kid museums and the zoo, library story times, tumbling lessons, crafts and art projects, beach visits, a sensory table in the house, living room forts, movie in the park nights, the giant Grant Park splash pad … giving wings to the part of me that wants more than just playing games on the iPad during a hot Sunday in the summer.