Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Muddy Paddling Pool (Or, Joy in Small, Green, Turtle-Shaped Things)

Two days ago, our neighbors brought us a green paddling pool that is in the shape of a turtle--complete with removable shell and all. It now sits in our backyard (sleeping, of course, since it's 10pm and good rest is highly essential for a long day of being paddled in) awaiting Tyler's pitter-pattering, muddy feet tomorrow.

The heat wave--if it's even possible to have a heat-wave in England in April--broke yesterday. The sun didn't come out from behind his curtains, and I even wore a windbreaker outside. But during the two weeks prior to yesterday, all I could write at the top of my daily journal entries was "HOT" in the space where I record the weather.

Okay--true: it wasn't Florida-hot or even Carolinas-hot. But with was hot for me, which means we had temps in the high 70s with really, really, supremely bright sunshine and no cloud cover.

Perhaps it wasn't the actual temp and sunshine that made me crave the shady spaces underneath large trees, but rather the continual shock of actually seeing the sun so consistently and feeling it so relentlessly that tricked my mind.

One day, on a walk into the city center, I said to Jen, "Whew, it's really hot out here, isn't it? I don't think I could ever live in a warm climate." And then I wiped my forehead even though I was not sweating.

Again--I'm chalking this comment up to the mind-tricking shock thing.

Jen looked at me as if I had grown a large finger off the end of my nose and said, "You're kidding, right?"

And it wasn't until she said it that I realized, yup, I was.

Somehow, we managed to make it through the heat-wave and get back to our normal rain-threatening-cloud-cover-do-we-take-the-laundry-in-or-live-risking-it-all weather for York. But those two glorious weeks of constant sunshine and heat had their climax in, yes, the Green Turtle-Shaped Paddling Pool.

See, it is quite small. And it's also, essentially, plastic. (Actually, it is plastic.) But it has brought untold delight to our lives.

Yesterday, we did nothing but sit in our lawn chair furniture, soaking our feet in the Turtle and watching Tyler create mud for the first time in his life. (Mud! The best invention ever for a toddler! HOURS of joy and possibility unfold.)

Tyler proceeded to use water from the Turtle to water the pricker bushes, the grass, the flowers, and even the mud.

As Jen and I sat with our feet hanging in the Turtle, drinking an orange smoothie out of wine glasses, it was one of those moments that felt as though it just couldn't get any better.

And then our neighbors brought over a trampoline.