Growing up here in New York City, one of my favorite things to do was ride the carousel in Central Park. I remember going round and round, up and down, to the colorful music, the steel gates and green trees blurring by. I remember laughing so much.
This past weekend when I was flying solo with the girls, I decided that we would take a trip to the carousel. The big girls were pumped. I prayed that their car sickness would not translate to carousel sickness. Thankfully, all was good.
I placed each of my girls on her own horse and buckled them both in. I stood in the middle of them, my hands grazing the small of their backs as we traveled round and round. From time to time, each would try to proclaim independence and brush my hand off, but I put it back. And they let me.
Their smiles were grand and wonder was plain in their blue eyes. Their golden hair shimmied in the breeze. I asked them what their nice horses were named. Baby said Ella. (All of Baby's animals are named Ella.) Toddler said Horsey. Then Baby said hers was in fact named Horsey too.
Baby evinced her bizarre and irresistible sense of humor, stroking her horse's faux-mane, and saying, "Mommy, so fluffy!"
Toddler insisted we go again and again. And so we did. And as we did, as I held on to my little girls, I wondered which horses I used to ride on when I was their size.
Finally, I got them off their respective Horseys by promising them a treat. Thankfully, there was a nice man outside selling Italian ices. We stood there as he told us all the flavors... Cherry, Grape, Lemon, Mango, Rainbow... and Super Rainbow. Guess what the girls picked? Yes, Super Rainbow. I plopped them on a bench in the shade and watched them as they scarfed their brightly colored concoctions with true delight and deliberation. I snapped a picture of their dangling feet.
Before heading home with my rainbow-mustached babes, I took another picture. Of the trees and the sun and the day. It was a glorious day. A perfect day.
One I hope they will remember. I certainly will.
What were some of your favorite activities as a child? Do you hope to do these activities with your own kiddos one day?