Friday, July 25, 2014

The Old Stomping Grounds


On Tuesday, we took Chris to Butler, and I decided to save on gas, and stay close to campus.  I asked Sam what he would like to do, and he told me go to a playground.  The first place I thought of was Broadripple Park.  It was where my parents would take us when we were young to go play at the park, well, that and the John Strange School Playground.  Broadripple is not too far from BU, so away we went.

The park has changed a fair bit since back in my day.
There were no giant metal rocket ships.  
The library that was built and opened back in my day is now a family center (whatever that means). 
The pool they built, I remember when they built that too, wasn't crowded at all at 9 or 10 in the morning.  In my day, we were there the minute it Opened!   There were a couple of day camps floating around the park. I remember the slides being tall, metallic, and kind of scary.  But Sam found this giant plastic play area contraption just fine.  

He was adorable.  
He kept coming back to Jake and I to check on us.  
I guess he's a little lonely going to the park without Christopher.  
It was pretty quiet.  I guess I've gotten used to having him around and noisy all summer long. 

Jake wanted to get down and move around. 
Now that he's mobile, he does Not want to sit in my lap all the time.  
He wants to get down. Walk. Play. 
So on this day, I let him. 
I let him circle the benche I was sitting on a couple times.  Then he sat down in the dirt. 
Yeah, apparently This is going to be the child I have that likes to sit in the dirt. 
How'd I make it so far without one of those?  Why now. 

OK, that's why. 
This one may like dirt, but he also likes to play. Just like his brothers.  
And he loves the swing.  

And when he swings, he has the best giggles. 

Sam even found a swing he could get himself up into without any assistance.  
Granted it was for a special needs child, and I had trouble conveying that to Sam, but as there weren't any around, I guess it was ok to let Sam give it a try.  He liked it too.  

However, I hadn't packed any oily bugspray, and being right by the canal and river, I was getting attacked by bugs.  I put on LLP (Lemon, Lavender, and Peppermint) that I keep in my purse, but I still felt itchy, even though I don't think I was getting nibbled after that.  Still, after 1 hour in the park, I was ready to go.  However, there were still 2 more hours until we could go pick up Chris.  Ugh.  No wonder we drove home the day before.  

So we went for a cruise.  And I showed Sam my old stomping grounds, where I grew up. 

This was the house where I grew up.  
It's a little smaller than I remembered.  And that tree, I think the people after us planted that, and the house has been for sale at least 3 times since we moved.  I have dreams sometimes that I've bought it, for myself, for the boys, for my sister.  Sometimes I'm living in it, sometimes just exploring.  I was too big a weinie to go up and ask to take a look around, I was content to just look from the street.  It had been years since I'd done that.  The street was smaller too. I remember crashing my bike into a tall batch of sidewalk, that really isn't that tall. I remember climbing my neighbor's's really a tall bush.  But our front porch was the same.  We would sit on that porch for cheesy photos on the first day of school, just like I make my kids do, and nothing has changed about that.  I loved that porch.   It was a great neighborhood to grow up in, and I hope I have given that to my kids. We drove around, driving by my friend's old houses, I remember running and biking to their houses to play.  I could be found outdoors all summer long.  Not so much anymore.  I showed Sam the mulberry bushes where I would bike down to pick berries.  They don't look as big as they used to, either.  They put in a walking/bike path on 62nd!  That's so cool, that would have saved me a lot of time to go to certain friend's houses than riding down 61st all the time.  And I drove by that place where they had to put in a light because a kid got hit by a car.  I went to school with his big brother.  They made a memorial, but it's a bit overgrown.  Some of us will always remember. We drove to my old school, I thought Sam might get less eaten over there.  Most of the equipment has changed, but the eagles nests were still there.   There were two, the kindergarten one, and the big kid one, and they are still there to climb.  Only we couldn't. :(  Because they have put in a fence all the way around the school playground.  Back in my day, we could go play there in the summer, but I guess they don't let kids do that anymore.   

Well, as you can imagine, Sam only tolerated my walk/drive down memory lane for only so long, and then he started griping how he was hungry.  It was 11, still plenty of time before time to get Chris.  So I asked Sam if he wanted to eat.  He was ok with that, but as I started cruising through Broadripple again, looking for some cute brunch joint, his mind latched on to McDonald's.  I tried all manner of distraction.  Of my children, he is usually the most mild to take out to eat.  But as he has aged, he gets pickier like his brother, and he wanted McDonald's!  

So Mommy took him to McDonald's.  
And got him a Happy Meal. 
It made him happy.  
Not so much me.  But the toys were Super Mario Brothers, and he dug this Mario hat he pulled out.  We were being goofy, and I tried it on me.  I was sitting there, when my old couples therapist walked and starting talking to me about what's been up the last few years.  It wasn't until after she was long gone that I remembered the hat upon my head.  Uh.... yeah.  Maybe I need a little more therapy than I thought. ;) 

Jacob didn't really appreciate trying the hat on at all.  But he sure looks adorable in red to me. 

We grabbed Chris a happy meal on our way out, to surprise him when we picked him up.  He was so happy.  He wanted to go repeat all we had done, but we were done.  And Grandma and Aunt Teri were going to meet us at home to have some oily discussion.   The big boys went to play while we talked.  

The littlest boy got our attention by being extra adorable.  
Here is Jacob, sitting in the beverage cabinet, he's sitting on the edge right in front of the cocoa maker.  He was pulling out bottles of coffee syrup and the cocoa maker repeatedly.  He just kept playing with it.  

He finally  pulled the thing out and started taking it for a walk.  He was cracking me up.  And Grandma and Aunt Teri.  It is impossible to have serious discussions about Oils with this kind of distracting cuteness.  And that's ok.  That's one thing I like about the oils, the products stand by themselves by smell, no matter the distraction.  He is very entertaining, and we had a great time.  I hadn't laughed that hard in a while.