Monday was the first day that really felt like summer to me.
Not summer in the sense that the days are hot and long, but summer in the sense that the days are carefree and unencumbered by commitments and obligations — like summer was when I was growing up. Sean was in a half-day summer camp for the month of June and Monday was the first day we didn’t have anything official on the calendar.
To celebrate the beginning of our summer, Sean and I decided to escape the heat and go to a local bounce house for a playdate.
While I enjoy getting together with other moms and kids, I was secretly thrilled that it would just be the two of us — that we could selfishly do our own thing without having to consider anyone else. I was looking forward to not sharing my little boyfriend with anyone else.
When we got to the bounce house place, we stashed our shoes in a cubby hole and ran from house to house, sliding and bouncing and pretending to be lost in a jungle or climbing a mountain. But then I noticed there seemed to be another little boy tailing us. I asked him what his name was and he told me Batman. Batman had set his cap to be Sean’s friend and stuck to us like bubble gum on a sidewalk on a hot day. He followed us from slide to slide and house to house. At first Sean was not very interested in having Batman for a friend, but his persistence paid off.
Soon enough, the two of them paired up, slid down the slide together and then ran off in some secret little boy cooperative. I slid down after them and watched them as they scampered towards another bounce house. Sean stopped midway and turned back to see me sitting at the end of the slide. I gave him the “Go on, I’m fine” wave. But he ran back anyway. “Mom I’ll stay here and play with you,” he offered.
“No, you go ahead,” I encouraged. “I’m going to rest for now.” Which wasn’t a lie. I fanned my face with my hand to convince him to go on with Batman.
He searched my face for the truth.
“No really, go,” I said cheerfully.
“Okay,” he said and then zipped off to join his new friend.
I have worried about him as only child of older parents. I have worried about him learning to interact and engage with other children. It hasn’t come easily for him. It did my heart good to see him make a new friend.
At the same time, as I watched him disappear around the corner, my heart broke just a little bit to have my playmate stolen away from me on the first real day of summer.