It may be September, but itâ€™s still officially summer. And after a record cool season, the days have gotten warm. Even Mother Nature is happy the muppets are finally home!
With two quickly growing babies at home, itâ€™s easy to find yourself suffering from cabin fever. And with the recent heat wave, itâ€™s not quite comfortable to take the babes out during the day. The intersection of these two events has led me to discover the most relaxing excursion: an evening summer stroll.
By around 6 p.m., the temperature has dropped to about 75 degrees. There is a light breeze â€“ leading to a pleasant combination of sun and shade trade offs. Our city is blessed with oodles of parks (39, many of them within walking distance). And we are lucky enough to live on a tree-lined street. It is the perfect setting for a Leave It To Beaver episode.
Fall leaves are not yet littering the ground. Houses built in the fifties stare back at our empty, calm and quiet neighborhood streets. Green trees stand watch, forming a canopy over the neighborhood. Occasionally shadows over their secretly showing skeletons give the evening an eerie feel. I keep waiting to see Disney’s Haunted Mansion ghosts come leaping out of the trees; sadly, no grim grinning ghosts ever come out to socialize. Itâ€™s easy to imagine what the neighborhood must have been like in its 1950s heyday.
Each day our little family heads out in a different direction. Today, I asked Jon where we should go â€“ wondering if there was a direction we had yet to follow or a park still unvisited. He just shrugged, â€œDoes it really matter where we go? Letâ€™s just wander.â€ Part of the reason these walks are so wonderful is precisely because there is no ultimate destination.
We take our super-sized sport utility stroller and load up the muppets. The excursion gives Jon and me some much-needed fresh air. Search and Destroy will be sleeping soundly within three minutes of setting out â€“ no matter how fussy or cranky they were previously. And the exercise reinvigorates two very sleep deprived parents.
On several occasions, weâ€™ve wandered through the grounds of local schools. Jon shared where his classrooms were when he was a kid and itâ€™s easy to realize how quickly the muppets are growing up. (Destroy is a ginourmous 10 pounds now â€“ five times his birth weight!)
The summer of 2010 was not an easy one for us. But these summer evening strolls are my storybook moments. Weâ€™re a happy, healthy and finally together family.
And then we get home and life resumes. And life filled with cuddly muppets after a fresh air nap is good.