crumbs, family

Friday nights at the park

Most of my summers as an adult have been lazy. A lot of lounging, a lot of laying–or is it lying? Either way, lazy. Slushy, liquid motion for a solid three months. But my past few summers as a mama mandated a different rhythm. A high energy. Run, laugh, create, play. From sun up (just barely up) to sun down (way, way down). Every day. No exceptions. No Sundays off.

That’s Jack’s rhythm. (And that’s me three paces behind Jack’s rhythm, panting and wiping my brow.)

This summer, Charlie joins the get-up-and-go vibe that now surrounds our family summers. But at just over three months old, Charlie likes lazy. (I so, so love that Charlie likes lazy.) The puzzler–how to enjoy each other’s company without denying my little summer dreams (hand-stitching outside in the shade, a Diet Coke on standby) or Jack’s big summer delights (running, running, and running). Where’s the middle ground? The ground where all six of our feet are deeply planted in happy?

Hee-hee. I figured it out. That ground exists. I found it a few Friday nights ago. It’s at the park, when the day is cooling down and the bands at the ampitheatre next door are tuning up.

Jack–complete with specially selected parktime attire–races toward the playgyms to climb, jump, and say hello to his fellow climbers and jumpers. I set up home base under a decades-old tree, with just a few essentials: two quilts, a baby sling, and the diaper bag. I walk Charlie to sleep in the sling, and then return to home base. Lay Charlie down (or is it lie?) and check my watch. It’s 7:15 p.m. Take off my shoes. I feel light and lifted. Free.

I watch Jack climb.

And dig.

And return to home base.

Just to catch his breath, of course . . . in moments he’s running again.

Charlie. Lovely, lazy Charlie.

And what Charlie sees when he opens his eyes.

Jack and Charlie, free. Watching Jack play and Charlie doze, I get it. In their little ways, they are gently reminding me that it IS possible to create situations for us where I feel free, too. Like at this shady park on a Friday night. With my boys.


3 thoughts on “Friday nights at the park”

  1. Too cute, little Charlie all wrapped up. I love the park too, but I’m at the stage where I am constantly running after my little one, (13 mo) or pushing 2, sometimes 3 on the swings! Enjoy the rest of your summer 🙂


  2. Gee, aren’t you in the golden age of two kids. One old enough to play independently and the other too young to roll away from where you place him.
    But, seriously, I am glad that you have found a balance for you and your kids. It’s not often a Mommy gets to feel FREE. Enjoy!


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