★★★ The two-year-old exclaimed about the blowing clouds out the window, and did not need to be asked twice to get on his scooter and head out of the apartment. No scooter-riding in the lobby, the doorman told him, intending it for his adult supervisor. At the playground gate, the two-year-old had to be persuaded to leave the sidewalk, with its slow-moving elderly people and their shopping carts, for the uncluttered spaces inside. Didn't he want to go faster? He supposed he did. The flags hissed as the stirring wind made them undulate back on themselves. The two-year-old pulled up beside two other children, scooters parked and chain-link shadows patterning their helmets, to watch another child practice tee ball. Then he took off across the paved yard, circling unerringly for the one truly substantial pool among the various scattered puddles. He splashed through it, leaving wet tire tracks and a single repeating footprint after he emerged. Another small child was stomping in the puddles, and they came to an agreement on a coordinated assault on a lesser puddle, the shoe soles of the infantry and scooter wheels of the cavalry scattering the water up and out, over and over, into a ragged smear. The playground was filling up—there were near-collisions now, and the occasional actual collision—but every time the yard seemed about to get warm, more and bigger clouds would cover the sun again, and the chill would deepen. A parent gathered up a child, telling her they'd have to come back after they'd put on more clothes. The two-year-old, soaked to the knees with cold puddle water, wanted to shed his sweatshirt.
Monday, April 28th, 2014