Van Worst Park is such a simple pleasure. When we moved to Jersey City, we couldn’t quite justify living on the water, so we paid attention to a Realtor who told us that if we can’t get the water in JC, we should be happy with a park. It’s a solid park. But it turned into something special earlier this afternoon.
The weather was nice. We were headed into winter and the fact that it was nice outside (meaning we could go outside without fearing you’d hate us for a few hours after the fact) meant that we had to go outside. You’re an outdoor baby. It calms you. I feel like your happiness is directly correlated to the number of leaves you see around you — maybe with a bit of sunshine factored in.
It’s always been that way, though. From the moment we could take you outside, if we did, you were happier. Taking it all in. Looking around you. Observing. Reaching. The first thing I ever saw you reach for was a leaf. And you went for it. Like you do everything. You saw. You committed. And you went for it.
The park on this beautiful late Fall day was no different. We strolled. You did some slide work. Pulled yourself up to a lovely outdoor abacus. And life was grand. But nothing compared to you on that swing. It was freedom. You were seated. And you were experiencing. No fear. No matter how excited I got and how hard I pushed. You smiled on your way to us and on your way back. Sheer happiness.
I’d like to get a swing installed in every room in our condo. What do you think? My guess if you could respond? Weeeeeeeeeeeeee! Which totally explains my love for you today, munchkin. It was as exhilarating to watch you on that swing as it has been for me to take loops at Great Adventure.
I caught you red-handed and I thoroughly enjoyed the exchange. Maybe you thought, after all the delay it took to make it into your room, that you were in the clear.
I wouldn’t blame you.
But I heard the clicking for a good minute or two. I heard no squealing from you so my curiosity was piqued. When I walked in to find your hand gripping at your mobile with no intention of relinquishing, I couldn’t help but smile.
Then, things got better.
You looked over at me and smiled. Big. Wide. Like you do better than anyone in the history of the world. And my heart melted, but I was in conflict. Because you hadn’t let go of the mobile yet! What I thought was a smile was actually an admission of guilt, blended with a refusal to concede to releasing the mobile back into its circling routine we were so used to.
Yup. You sound like ours. And we love you like hell for it. Even though we all know that you were squarely busted.