Sunday, September 03, 2006

The batter swings and the summer flies

It's Labor Day weekend here in the US, a much needed holiday for me. I haven't made any grand plans. Well, except for a few that existed solely in my head (and on Mapquest). I'd have been running along Lake Michigan this morning had I only followed through and jumped in my car after work yesterday. Instead, I'm reflecting a bit. And lying around a bit. And eating. A lot.

Since Labor Day typically marks the end of summer (though it damn well better not mark the end of warm weather), today's paper had a Man On The Street quiz which posed the question, "What's the best thing that's happened to you this summer?" Here are a few of the replies:
  • Finding out my wife and daughter were safe after a car accident.
  • I landed a new job at Mead.
  • When I found out I got into law school at UD.
  • Discovering Taco Bell. They don't have them in Germany.
Well, good for you, Julia Meier. Next up, get ready to discover the fat ass you didn't have in Germany. Anyway, I decided to add my own. The best thing that happened to me this summer was a day in early July when my sister from Florida was visiting with her kids. She and her husband had a wedding to attend in Cincinnati, so I was hanging out at my parent's place watching her five year old son and two year old daughter. It was a hot and humid day. I'd considered bringing the kids to a local pool, but my Mom wasn't feeling well and I didn't want to leave her home alone. I hit on the idea of a blow-up pool and a slip-n-slide, so we drifted through an afternoon of splashing around on our backs in a 5x5 puddle of a pool and diving headlong down a slick strip of plastic. How does that sound to you? For me, it was heaven. The kids had a great time and found my wild dives down the slide hilarious. (PS? You may have found me hot, manscaped and in my pale blue board shorts.) I made some lemonade and cut up some fruit for a snack. We threw a frisbee. Grilled some hotdogs. Rode bikes/trikes. Soon, the afternoon was gone and the little one fell asleep on my lap. I put her down for a nap and her big brother and I went to see an early showing of Superman Returns. For two hours he and I were rapt. It was early evening when the movie ended and the summer air was still warm. As we walked through the parking lot hand in hand, both of us in madras shorts and t-shirts, me in flip-flops, he in little red Crocs, he looked up at me with a big smile and said, "When I meet Superman, I'm gonna tell him how you took me to see his movie." There you have it, kids. That day in early July was easily the best thing that happened to me this summer.


Jen said...

Ohmigod, you made me cry. Which, because I'm easy, isn't really that big of a feat, but that post was so megasweet I'm totally going to start calling you Daddy.

Michael said...

Jen, I realize that these moments are not what parenting is like on a daily basis, but I imagine that when they occur, they make up for a world of stress. Those kids are a joy. No guile rocks.