The best thing the girls and I have done with our days this summer is to pack up swimsuits, sandwiches, and sunscreen and spend the whole middle part of the day (from the end of Iris's morning nap until the beginning of afternoon nap time) at the park.
We play in the wading pool until everyone's hungry, and then we sit on a bench in the shade to eat. We pee in the sketchy rec center bathroom. I slather the girls with sunscreen again and we swing and slide and climb until Ingrid's tired, I'm hot, and Iris is putting rocks in her mouth faster than I can take them out.
The weather has been perfect for this lately—low humidity, no rain, temps in the 70s and low 80s. It feels great to take our time at the park, to eat outside, and to know we have with us everything we need for this stretch of two or three hours.
The picnic makes a huge difference. All winter (and spring) we were rushing back to the house to feed someone before her (or someone else's) nap. Eating outside buys us some crucial amount of time.
And I don't know why, but at the end of a long park trip feel a little like I've been on one of the (often gorgeous and sometimes truly hard core) backpacking or canoeing trips that A and I used to take. Sun-baked, muscle-tired, slightly hungry, toughened, and newly focused. And, oh yeah, with sand in my lilypadz.
What's the best thing you're doing with your days this summer?