We all love the sight. We stop cold in our tire tracks to watch the fat mama robin bird skip along the sidewalk, over to the fallen branch, and up into the skeletal tree. We are quiet. We gawk. We breathe in that end-of-winter-spring-is-near air. We start pedaling again only to be stopped 30 feet ahead to stare at another plump robin.
After twenty minutes of pedaling, we make it to the “church park” (we are blessed with five parks within a mile from our house). Maria and Mario park their bikes at the corner of the grass and asphalt, and sprint to the jungle gym. I was so excited because they played on the jungle gym for a whole 45 minutes going up and down the ladder rings and sliding down the tube slide on their bellies.
Mario the daredevilThe famous Italian Model, Maria
Maria is not one to want to move much so this was great for her. Of course, she wanted me to participate in the slide action so I had to contort what felt like my mammoth over-sized body into a kiddie tube slide. Don’t ask me why they enjoyed it because we stopped about ten times due to my elbow getting caught or my knee hitting the wall, but they did.
I felt alive again. The past few months have been brutal to me. I cannot stand not being outdoors. I can handle about an hour in the house before I crave fresh air. With the 20 degree weather almost all Winter, there was a real lack of fresh air. So, to have it back after all this time is a pure gift. I was telling a girlfriend that Winter must have come on so strong for a reason – to remind me to appreciate Spring.
I have high hopes for this Spring – a first family camp out. My little sister began her camping adventures at age 4 so I figure Maria can handle it. Mario will not allow her and I to go alone so he will have to handle it by default. I figure I will have them setting up camp by the end of the Summer as well as fishing, hiking, and making insanely scrumptious s’mores.