Okay, city, you can suck it. This past weekend, we left Martha with a babysitter and took the “big” kids on a boat for a picnic on a deserted island in the middle of Long Island Sound. No joke. How great is that?
Remind me of this day when I’m bemoaning my snowed-in driveway and exasperated by the leaf peeping traffic later in the year.
Friends of Mark’s bought a boat. Don’t ask what kind, I just know it was awesome. And I think they bought it on Craigslist which makes it awesomer, but I’m probably (definitely) imagining that last detail. Mark and I started talking up the boat ride a week ago because we were super psyched to have such a fun adventure on our calendar. (Other weekend activities have included: Oliver’s haircut, mowing the lawn, picking up dry cleaning… decidedly less fun.)
We met at the dock at oh-ten-hundred (feels more nautical that way) with enough tote bags full of stuff to survive for a month. Toys, food, drinks, towels, tent, kite, potty, camera, chairs, sunblock, and kids.
Side Note: the life preservers on my children are not sailor-cool, but Eleanor liked that they had “terrible sharks” on them (they’re not… they’re dolphins) and Oliver loved his so much, he only took it off when he couldn’t figure out a way to comfortably sit down in the tent for lunch with it on.
The junior sailors were restless getting out of the harbor as the “no wake” rule meant for an anti-climactic foray out to the open seas. When we could finally open ‘er up and get a few bumps and a little more excitement, the kids were full on Disney World/ Chuck E Cheese/ candy aisle pumped.
Once ashore, we spent 2 hours in perfect harmony: kids happily playing with toys and shells and sand, and adults delightfully sitting (!) and talking. Mark was thrilled to have found kites at Walgreens for $1.07 so he took those out for a spin; I thought he picked a particularly cheery design for a group of children all under 6.
The magic of having enough things to explore and play with is that the kids get along! There was a hairy moment of unrest when Oliver wanted to fly the kite and Eleanor wanted to eat all the chips… but if that’s the lowpoint, then I’m riding up front, holding my arms out and screaming ‘I’m queen of the world’ on the boat ride home. (It was and I didn’t.)
As a parent with smaller children, these are the days that give me a glimmer of how it will feel when our children are just a little more independent and just a little more able to keep themselves entertained. And it’s really really great. We won’t have to wear our U.N. peacemaker badges or our striped referee shirt or carry our cruise director clip boards. For a couple of hours, we felt like ourselves again; enjoying our friends, finishing a whole sentence, and noticing the scenery because we weren’t parental bobble heads looking to keep track of everyone.
p.s. As amazing as our day was, the folks next to us had fishing rods, a barbeque, a radio and beer… that’s who I aim to be one day. Hopefully without any poop on me which is not something I could say about this day.