While this Spring Break has included a host of some of our favorite activities, like the bouncy house, feeding the ducks and Chuck E. Cheese’s, there are a couple of new ones that have made it into the rotation. One of them is definitely going to be on my highlight reel for years to come.
I’d like to think of the first one as a stroke of genius by mom. With an errand to run at the mall, I suggested to my three-year-old and eight-year-old boys that we pop into the Apple store to check out the new iPad. As I chatted with the sales associate—enjoying a focused, adult, somewhat intelligent conversation about wireless keyboards, Apps and AppleCare—the boys stood still, each with an iPad in hand, playing Angry Birds. Not a peep. Not a complaint. Not a “Can we please go now?” In fact, after all my questions were answered —and then some—and I started to feel that we were on the verge of wearing out our welcome, they didn’t want to leave. Perfectly behaved. Engaged. Polite. All it took was two resolutionary new iPads.
I can take absolutely no credit for the next activity, and it has dominated most of our days. The boys pulled the red Step 2 push-around buggy out of the garage. Still often used to push our three-year-old on walks to Starbucks, the thing has definitely seen better days. The yellow hood is dented and pushed in, hiding dried up, spilled lattes. The steering wheel is gone. The dashboard stickers are peeled off. The blue eyes stare straight ahead, into oblivion.
Each day this week, the boys have pushed, pulled, dragged, thrown and heaved it by its blue handle to the top of the driveway of the vacant house across the street and taken turns whizzing and zooming down the 30 degree decline, coasting 75 feet across the street to our yard, as I stood guard. There were many variations. Hands up, like riding a rollercoaster. Off the edge of the curb, for an extra crash and thud. Hitting the curb head-on, diving onto the grass, then rolling and doing victory dances. Shirtless. Backwards. Countless times. Hours of entertainment. It has reminded me of when my sister and I used to play restaurant outside, making hamburgers out of dog food. The creative, fun-filled times of just being together. Imaginative and silly.
As I’ve watched them simply enjoying each other this week, going up and down that driveway over and over again, I know that this Spring Break—even bundled in a parka with gloves— there’s absolutely nowhere else I’d rather be.