Sunday afternoon was a quintessential spring day in New York City. 61 degrees and the sky was as blue as the Caribbean I’m dreaming about (and will feel on my feet in 3 days). But somehow my 7-year-old son and I couldn’t motivate out of our pajamas.
By 3:00pm the guilt was killing me. I had to take this boy outside. Heck, I had to take myself outside. The sunshine is a mood enhancing elixir and I needed to get me some.
The boy says “It’s too hot out.”
I say, “Are you just feeling lazy?” (I was.)
“Yeah,” he says. “This is what I like to do on the weekends.”
By this he meant a combination of TV, computer and Lego – building and battling. Sometimes he mixes all three. Throw in some French toast for breakfast, Mac & Cheese for lunch and the boy is feeling Life is as good as it gets.
And it is.
I say, “Lets check out the weather by going on the balcony.” I point to the fire escape.
Sure there’s a wrought iron “fence” and an iron staircase going up in the middle of a concrete stab. But it’s our little outdoor real estate in uptown Manhattan. One block to the west is Central Park.
The boy and I go out onto the fire escape and it’s gorgeous. Cars and people stream past below us. “Do you want to bring your Legos out here and have a battle and I’ll write it down?”
“Oh yeah!” He’s excited.
“We can people watch,” I say.
He’s one step ahead of me, waving to those below, shouting, “Hello” to everyone who passes. He looks down and considers throwing down pebbles.
I put velvet pillows on the concrete and the computer in my lap. iTunes plays up a modern urban shuffle; the sun shines on our backs.
The boy and I are perched a flight above Manhattan. I transcribe his stories and take notes for my own.
This is as good as it gets.