This past Saturday we took a little diversion from our usual routine and wandered to the
North Side North Shore (Gah!) for our little family biking adventure. There's a very long bike trail that runs all along the rivers. Along the way, I figured we would do something that I've been meaning to do for well over a year and stop at the fountains between the stadiums to let Alexis play. These fountains:
In all honesty, I was expecting that Alexis would see a lot of water, hear a lot of noise, and sense a whole lot of strangers and freak the heck out. After all, we are talking about a kid who hides her face all the way up my butt any time someone she doesn't know so much as glances at her.
I was wrong.
Miss Thing love-love-LOVED playing in the water. What started as a brief stop to get our feet wet turned into this:
The only way we could drag her away from The Beach (her name for the fountains) was to promise her we would return the next day. OF COURSE she woke up at 2:00 in the morning and asked if, "We go to da beach?" Obviously toddlers are just elephants in disguise because they never forget anything.
Twelve hours later we headed off to The Beach, this time armed with a swimsuit, towel, and change of clothes for Alexis. Preparation is everything, after all. When we landed at The Beach, it was pretty obvious that of the 248 kids there, only about 5 of them showed up prepared. The others had wandered over from the Mets game (Mets gear outnumbered Pirates gear 10 to 1 everywhere we looked, so it was the Mets game) and were getting a little impromptu bath time.
I will forever have two very vivid memories from the hour we spent at The Beach on Sunday.
For one, Alexis was joy epitomized as she splashed around in the water. Her smiles and giggles and glee were intoxicating. She has a habit of refusing to look a the camera when she's having fun, so I wasn't able to capture her glee digitally, but I'm pretty sure I actually touched happiness that day. It's warmth enveloped me, leaving me breathless and in awe of how a child can find such pleasure in something so simple.
My other distinct memory is one that I've been trying to shake, but there it sits, hovering in my mind's eye. Among the unprepared water dwellers was a maybe 5-year old little boy whose Grandmother (I assume) decided she didn't want him to get his shorts wet. Or his underwear. So there he sat, wearing a bright red polo shirt that fell to his waist and -nothing- else. Um, yeah. I want the image of boy bits hanging out on the perimeter of my circle of Toddler happiness to go away, but it's not. It just sits there, hanging out. Not leaving.
Please tell me time will fix that memory, banishing the boy bits and leaving me with just the joyous Toddler. Please? PLEASE!