Sunday, September 7, 2008


Nothing says "we have arrived" quite like inviting your best friend over to play in your backyard. I know I've been boasting about our new place a lot these days, but these are exciting times for us so please bear with me.

Sometimes, I forget that CA has seasons. It doesn't snow here in San Jose. It doesn't ever get particularly cold, either. Very confusing. When we first got here, I was shocked (shocked, I tell you!) to discover that nobody sells kites in September. We get some nice, sustained winds around this time of year. In the spring, it's more gusty. But, kites are for spring so they are stocked accordingly.

Yesterday, we went looking for a wading pool. It's been unseasonably hot here for the past week or so, and we thought Elise would like to do some splashing about. Well, it's been "fall" for the past month or so. If you didn't have a place for a kiddie pool or a sprinkler back in January when the stores were selling such things, you're out of luck. We tried our luck at Toys R Us, and didn't even find a section of clearance summer stuff. Really?! But it stays warm here until well into November! Finally, Andy found a section with a few boxes of kiddie pools. Imagine our surprise when we discovered that one of the few remaining pools in the store cost a whopping $3. Including tax. Score!

So, we bought that sucker and took it to our new yard. Elise wasn't sure at first, but I cleverly started filling it before the whole thing was inflated and forbade her to climb in until I was done. Nothing like pent-up demand to overcome apprehension over something new. (Well, new to us since the last time she ~really~ played in a wading pool was in Job's former back yard in Chicago 2 years ago. Yes, we are delinquent parents.) Oh, the joy! Oh the fun! I called up my friend Danielle to see if she wanted to bring her daughter over to play too. They live a block away (albeit across a busy street), so we can do things like this now.

Not much in this universe is more fun than watching like-minded four-year-olds play. The shrieking, the giggling, the running, the arbitrary rule making, the co-operating, the arguing and making up, the more giggling. For a long while, we wondered if Elise was getting all of the socialization she needed since she can be sooooo shy around other kids and (still) generally prefers to play on her own. And then we met Rista. United by a common love of Dora, dancing, running and being silly, these two are the best of friends. When they meet up, they take one another by the hand and head off on adventures. Just like that. A thing of beauty.

So, the grownups sat in the shade and chatted while the girls ran and splashed and giggled and otherwise carried on. A beautiful day in any season.

No comments: