The first thing I saw yesterday when walking out of my room was my niece Aliza sitting at the kitchen table eating a banana. She saw me and said something I couldn’t quite understand.
“What?” I asked.
She climbed down from her chair and ran up to me and said it again. No luck this time either, as the banana was still in her mouth. So she said it a third and fourth time.
“Do you want to go to the park with me ‘n Jac?” she asked.
Let me think about that for a sec… same old, same old, or go to the park with two of my favorite people?
So, of course, I said, “Okay.”
Sounded like a plan to me. Get out of the house, watch Aliza play, get some fresh air and sunshine (loving this October weather). Once we were all in the car, Aliza asked me again if I wanted to go to the park with them. I pointed out the fact that I was in the car, thank you very much, little weirdo. Of course, I would like to go.
Jacqueline drove us to the park in front of the elementary school. Aliza made a beeline for the slide. I sat down on a bench and watched. There are quite a few slides in that little park, and I think she must have gone down all of them – but she seemed to be pretty taken with the slide closest to me. Up the ladder, down the slide, over and over.
Suddenly, she came over to me, and asked, “Wanna go down the slide?”
To be perfectly honest, it hadn’t even occurred to me. I mean, seriously. Why would I want to go down a slide? I had been there and down that – when I was a child. But looking down at that little face that I love so much, I couldn’t say no. I didn’t even hesitate. I got up. I walked over to the ladder. Thank goodness there were handrails everywhere. I went up the steps. And I stood there for a minute. I watched Aliza go down again and again. There were two safety bars in front of the slide she was going down on. And to my right there was a flimsy ramp that moved when you walked across it. No thank you. I got down and climbed up another spot, past the ramp. I climbed right over the double slide and went down one of them. Whee! My inner three year old was delighted. I don’t think I was able to do that when I was three. Nope. In fact, I am sure I didn’t. So, I went down again just because I knew I could, this time with my sister on the other slide next to mine
Oh, Aliza Fay. I love you so much. I would do anything for you. Anything. Thank you for asking me to go down a slide yesterday. I needed that, more than you know.
“So, like a forgotten fire, a childhood can always flare up again within us.” ~Gaston Bachelard