No matter what I embellish…ever so slightly…for the sake of humor, she’s one of my very favorite people on the planet. She’s very smart (on her university’s President’s list), highly motivated (working two jobs while going to school full time), very funny (she even laughs at my jokes sometimes), and she infuses positive, heart-warming energy into every person whose life she touches, and into every situation and circumstance she finds herself in. (Aw, gee, now I’m going to have to do follow-up brag sessions on our two sons.)
Anyway, I hope that disclaimer will cover me while I write yet another post about this very wonderful person.
As the sunny warmth of Florida beckons us to run off to the beach, I think back to a very perfect summer day I enjoyed with my daughter a few years back.
I was working at my husband’s office when she dropped by. She had more time on her hands back then, in the pre-boyfriend era.
“Do you have any work for me?” she asked.
I glanced away from my computer monitor to take a good look at her. She looked a little bored, which was exactly how I felt on that irresistibly sunny day.
“Want to play hooky?” I asked.
“And do what?”
“How ‘bout we go to the beach?”
Her eyes lit up, matching mine. It was all systems go. We drove home to get our swim suits and some water bottles, and headed for the beach. In no time at all, we were jumping over waves and soaking up some sun. Not a care in the world…just enjoying the refreshing, clear emerald water cooling off our hot bodies. (OK, so maybe hers was “hot.” Mine was just a temperature-related thing.)
After enjoying the surf a while, I asked, “What should we do now? Hey, want to see a movie?”
Her eyes lit up again. “Sure!”
“How ‘bout we go to that new theatre on the beach?”
Her smile widened. “OK!”
We showered off on the boardwalk, changed into something dry, and headed out to the new, mega theatre. It was clean, and the seats were so comfy. No matter what was playing…anything would be fine.
As a matter of fact, I can’t even remember what movie we saw that day. I just remember that we had fun watching it. When it was over, we headed out the door to find our car.
“Where did we park?” I asked.
“I don’t know.”
“Should we go right or left?”
The whole area was so new to us, and we had no idea where we were going. We went right.
“Hey, do you hear that?” I asked. “They put in parking lot music.”
We walked around the entire building until we finally found our car, slightly to the left of the entrance. But on this side of the building, the parking lot music sounded louder. We noticed people walking with lawn chairs and coolers toward a new park next to the theatre.
“Hey, that’s not parking lot music. It’s live…a concert in the park!”
“Want to go?”
We walked over to the park, laughing about car hunting and “parking lot music.” When we arrived, an idyllic slice of Americana lay before us. A band played classic rock, and people filled the park…on lawn chairs and blankets with coolers. People threw Frisbees for their dogs. Kids ran around chasing balls, toys, and each other.
“Let’s sit here,” I said. The scene was too perfect to miss. I wanted to sit on the outer edge of the park, watching everything going on while the music played. I wanted to relish this freedom we enjoy in America.
The sun slowly set, the concert ended, and people started packing up to leave. We headed to the car and drove home.
I couldn’t recall the last time I had spent an entire day alone with my college-age daughter…especially to play hooky.
I’m glad we did…wouldn’t trade it for anything…the spontaneity of running off to the beach, taking in a movie in a brand new theatre, and the serendipity of finding a free concert in the park. Just us girls, with not a care in the world. A blessed, perfect day.