Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Perfect Time

We head out to the playground after dinner, as usual, and it's always the perfect time. It's been hot, the day loitering still and heavy for the most part, but around 7 p.m. the river sends in cooler air over the grass. Most of the visiting kids have left the day for dinners and baths, leaving colorful riots of popped balloons and shovels and misplaced spills of sand that were probably minutes ago continents or bases or pirate ships.

Almost empty now, everything is for us. Q and The Boy set to work on opposite ends, she slowly soaking herself in the dog-shaped fountains, he lugging an adopted bucket full of sand up to the high wide slide to speed himself down. I loll roughly in the middle, unneeded and unnecessary.

I become useful when it's time to swing, and there's no waiting now. We make a sport of it: we do slingshots and catapults and underdogs, and Q's laughs bubble up and out of her and all over us. "The swing makes my head look up," she says. We stop when we want to, off to explore every last ladder and bridge.

Soon the sun gets real low, and my watch confirms it; it's time to head inside. On our way out, Q pretends to fiddle with the gate latch to steal just a few more minutes before this day becomes something she can only remember. Though I sympathize, I'm on to her, so I go back to scoop her up while The Boy shows himself how he can run atop the park's low wall in his new flip flops. To do things simply because you can. I tell him to be careful, because that's my job, and he tells me "I'm gripping my toes like this when I run. I won't fall off." He doesn't.

This is the perfect time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Simply lovely.