Our backyard is still unfinished.
As in, we currently have a giant pile of dirt that is embellished with weeds and covered with toy John Deere tractors. Then we have some dried-out, crunchy-brown grass, surrounded by an oasis of taller weeds, where pheasants feel at home.
In other words, A VAN.
DOWN BY THE RIVER.
Thankfully, our front yard is finished and landscaped, so it tricks folks who drive through the cul de sac into assuming that we have our act completely together behind the house, as well. But we don’t. And there’s no swing set or fancy jungle gym for Thing 2 to climb on out there, so he’s forced to go to the city parks, like a commoner.
One night earlier this week, we got a bunch of moms and kids together for a park date. Park dates with a pack of children ensures that every age group is represented, everyone has a buddy to play with, and no one needs to be hanging off of their mama’s arm, wailing, “There’s nothing to do!” Park dates like this leave moms free to talk.
And talk and talk.
And talk and talk and talk some more.
A giant dose of late evening Vitamin D (through the sunshine) and calcium (through the ice cream) is exactly what we all needed. The troop hit the park to run through the fountains. The moms hit the park for Girl Time.
Thing 2 hit the fountains like a Golden Retriever puppy, who has just been released from the car, in front of the Pacific Ocean, on the sand. He ran a half marathon through those fountains… back and forth, back and forth. He hopped and skipped and spun himself through the water for nearly two hours.
And by a bit more cautious, I mean she didn’t dance through them with wild abandon, like a herd of baby squirrels, as some people’s children did.
I have no idea whose kid is in the front row, singing his heart out, at the very tip-top of his vocal decibels, while everyone else stood nicely for the snapshot.
Fountains at one park. Ice cream at another park. All in the same evening. The kids were fairly certain that they heard hallelujahs being whispered from Heaven.
I’ll be honest. That bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream was Thing 2’s entire dinner. Nothing says SUMMER VACATION like MAMA AIN’T COOKING TONIGHT; HERE’S A COUPLE OF BUCKS TO SPEND AT THE ICE CREAM SHACK.
Afterward, when we realized that it was already after 8 PM, we decided that we shouldn’t chase ICE CREAM FOR DINNER with RIDICULOUSLY LATE BEDTIME, because we are SOMEWHAT responsible mothers, so we all called it a night.
Thing 2 caught a ride in Libby’s double stroller, with her little boy, as we hiked back through the parks, to our cars.
Go ahead, Son. It spells out MORE PHYSICAL EXERCISE, which spells out MORE TIRED FOR BED.
We made it home by 8:45 that night, and Thing 2 was passed out cold in his bed by 9:00. He smelled like ice cream and sweat and sunscreen and fun. He had grass in his curls, and he was holding a pine cone while he slept.
And THAT, y’all, is what Summer Break is all about!
Plus? Well, it didn’t hurt that he slept in until 7:00 the next morning. We’ve never pulled that off before, but the Lord showed us His favor.