Monday morning, before the sun was high in the sky, Teddy and I were at the playground. I forgot that the plastic play structure would still be covered in dew. He was so excited, it didn’t even matter. He climbed, steered, stomped, and slid for over an hour. His little muscles worked, his brain made connections, and I got to bear witness to the miracle of a growing toddler. By the time we returned to the car, he was dirty and soaking wet. My work here was done.
I took the week off work to spend it with Jayla and Teddy. Our fifteen-year-old is quickly growing up and her three-week summer visit is coming to an end. We squeeze quite a bit into her stays, this year she went to Patriot Place, UMass Amherst, Build a Bear, and Six Flags. We celebrated, rode horses, had a craft night, and ate out a lot. She is the glad recipient of all the fun things the older kids can make happen between their jobs and other responsibilities. In October, she will have her drivers license and new responsibilities. I am hoping that New England summers continue to be part of the plan for a couple more years, but it seems wise to make the most of it while I can.
Auntie Kim is on vacation this week, so Steph and Tyler were looking for daycare options. A week off from work seemed like a good excuse to spend some time with these two favored humans.
This week we are heading out to play. Yesterday, we visited Davis’ Farmland. Teddy was absolutely beyond thrilled to explore a world that seemed to be made for him. He explored the little village set up for children, where he could explore the ice cream shop, the grocery store, and the veterinary clinic. All his size. He took his plastic potato and onion (one for each hand) and put them away in the cupboard in the life-size playhouse. He drove little tykes cars around a track. He pulled the larger than life stuffed dogs out of the dog house and climbed on in.
When we entered the animal enclosure, he chased chickens, petted long-eared goats, and tried to feed the cows. He walked from enclosure to enclosure, hesitant at moments, and fearless at others. We tried to teach him to feed with an open hand, but he was more interested in offering one pellet at a time. He touched a baby alligator, we were stalked by a lama, and we had a standoff with a huge tortoise.
After lunch, Jayla and I were about done, but we didn’t want to miss the splash pad. Watching the two of them running through the water games, was precious. Well, Teddy was running through and Jayla was keeping an eye on him. We let him play until his lips turned blue and then wrapped him in a towel to warm up. He was asleep before we left the parking lot.
So, I think there is a reason people have babies when they are in their twenties. I am tired. Very tired. Last night, I was in bed at 8:30p. But I wouldn’t trade a minute of this week. There isn’t anything I’d rather be doing than spend time with Jayla and watch Teddy explore the world. Today, we are headed out to the children’s discovery museum. It’s a perfect place for a rainy summer day. I hope I can keep up.