It took me years post-school to shake that August anxiety/excitement about school starting up, and even though kindergarten is a few years away for our kid,* I’m already starting to get that feeling again. But since we don’t have a school schedule, we have summer as long as we have summer weather, so I can’t fret yet that it’s almost over. Some things of note for family fun:

♣ We live about 1 mile from the river and until last year I hadn’t bother to visit it in years (I will save all those reasons for the book on Richmond I am not writing), but this year we’ve pumped up our river visits. While I still imagine that our not-yet-swimming toddler will get swept up in a rapid or bitten by a snake or get a beer can chucked at her, it’s been more pleasant than not. Plus it’s beautiful and free, and the river is never closed (except when it is. Because of flooding).

I have been taking walks to the river on my lunch break and that’s been great, and I found the entrance to the flood wall and finally walked on a small part of it.  We saw a million herons and other birds. So pretty.  Keep it up, James River. Don’t let the catfish with PCP keep you down.

♣ Also to keep cool, we’ve gone to the water play area at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens. And since I ruined her baby pool by making it a rock box/mosquito hatchery, I just spray my daughter down with the hose and that’s also just as fun to her as anything.

♣ We took a short trip to Pittsburgh to visit best pal Nichole, my favorite place/person to visit. Even getting lost is a fun way to pass time because it’s a great looking city. We went to a Pirates game, and because I spend 80% of time kid-wrangling and concession-getting, I only caught about two plays (but a home run!) and a pierogi race between innings. We also went to an aviary, which was cool (though things like that are always a little depressing). Our kid loved a person-sized penguin/collection bank and for the first time in her life asked to have her photo taken, and kept posing with it with her arm around the penguin. Later she threw up on a sidewalk while we ate pierogis. Vacation!

♣ The major league game was her second baseball game. We went to see the Flying Squirrels earlier, and that was fun, too, but she wasn’t that interested in anything but eating hot dogs and sitting under the seats playing with stuff.  She saw and immediately fell in love with Nutzy, and although both of her parents are terrified of everything including giant fake animals (ugh, Shoney’s bear), her dad chased Nutzy down so she could get a photo. Nutzy is her friend.

So, between all that and working and grocery shopping, that’s been our summer.

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Searching for river monsters.

 

*I almost wrote LO for “little one,” as found in parenting-related comment sections. I had to look up what LO means, and I still don’t know what DO means in Internet shorthand, but I like to think it means “dumb one” (“My little one and dumb one both love zucchini fritters!!!!”)

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