Jet and I took a picnic to the park this afternoon. The weather was just too good not to. Soon, five p.m. will mean blistering heat and high humidity. Today, though? Today was just perfect… 75 and sunny, with a good breeze.
How do you celebrate such good weather?
Here’s how we did it:
Pack a picnic, but don’t take any pictures of that.
Get in the car and go to the park. No pictures of this, either.
Drive until we find a parking spot because holy heck this seemed like a good idea to A LOT of people. (Nope, no pictures.)
Find a good spot, and take our bread to the water in hopes of attracting some ducks. Find two Mallard ducks who seem to have been fed already. Either that, or they’re bread snobs who don’t appreciate us attempting to pawn off our 59-cent-per-loaf white-bread leftovers on them. (Still no pictures.)
Go back to the car for the picnic lunch. Forget the camera again.
Find a great picnic table down by the water. Realize that I forgot the camera, and inwardly curse my stupidity because this would be a great photo op.
Enjoy our dinner, talk about a myriad of things, randomly topic-hopping as only a three-year-old can. Point out every. single. thing. that even dares to twitch as if it’s alive and wonder aloud if it would like some bread.
Break up some of our crackers and attempt to feed a squirrel. Continue to inwardly curse myself for missing another good photo op.
Spot some ducks in the water. Wonder if they’re the same bread-stuffed ducks (yum?!) that we saw before.
Go back to the car to get the bread. Finally remember the flippin’ camera.
Discover that these ducks aren’t very hungry, either. Maybe they’re on the South Beach diet.
Continue random conversation about various people who are doing various, park-y things like fishing, cooking out, kicking a soccer ball, and oh-no-honey-let’s-not-talk-about-what-those-two-guys-are-doing-hey-do-you-wanna-find-a-playground? Well, yes, he’s kissing that other guy like daddy sometimes kisses mommy, pickupyourbread and howsaboutthatplaygroundnow?
Get back in the car and pass two completely packed playgrounds until we get to the end of the park and find one with only two other kids on it, which is fine because it’s his favorite one! anyway.
(I remember that last summer he wouldn’t even attempt to climb up those green things without me standing right behind him. This summer, I’m twenty-five feet away and he doesn’t think twice. (*sigh*)
Find a seat at a nearby sticky picnic table and get out the Family Fun magazine that I grabbed on the way out the door because it’s been mocking me for a month by sitting on the table in the living room. (How dare it?!?)
Flip a few pages and feel something on the side of my head. Maybe it’s a fly? Brush it off to see a black, fuzzy spider fall onto the pages of my magazine. In a fit of rage and inner squicking the heck out, casually flick it off the table so as not to panic my son.
Congratulate myself for not screaming like the little girl I am when usually confronted with hairy, possibly venomous arachnids.
Calmly let Jet play for awhile longer, and then suggest that we walk down to this section of the river and see if those ducks are hungry. After several rounds of “just a few more minutes, Mommy”, head down to the water.
Discover that they fixed the bridge after the Great Flood of Aught-Seven that tore it all to heck last summer. Sit on the bridge to throw bread in the water, and see an old friend:
This particular Canadian goose has lived in the park for the last several years (I don’t actually know how long). Both of his wings are broken. I don’t know his story, but Jet has been feeding him bread for the last two summers. We always look for the goose with the broken wings and make sure he gets some bread. He’s definitely at the bottom of the pecking order when all of the waterfowl come over to eat. Jet always asks me to throw a piece or two waaaaaaaay out so this goose can go eat them by himself and not have to fight the other ducks and geese. It’s rather touching, actually, to see my son so concerned about this one goose. There’s also a white duck that lives there who has half of the top part of his bill broken off. We didn’t see him today, though.
Finally, we finish our day with the Rock Jumping Ritual. This must happen at each park visit or the world will simply stop spinning. Or something.