Back before the summer started, as I was finishing up my LEND semester, I was looking forward to the more relaxed schedule. I'd have more time one-on-one with Joy again, with Rose at summer day-camp full time and my work schedule back down to half-time.
It didn't exactly work out that way. Just after my LEND graduation, I got offered a quarter-time summer gig through my LEND contacts, working on a guide to services and supports in Wisconsin for families of children with special health care needs. I couldn't pass up the opportunity, and it's been a fine experience so far. But it did eat right back up that extra time that was going to make this summer so much more relaxed.
Fortunately, it didn't eat up all the time. And with the summer weather being reasonably kind to us so far, Joy and I have been making some fun one-on-one excursions. To the local lake-front beach. To a kiddie splash-pad fountain setup at a local park. To our free local zoo. And yesterday, to the lovely conservation park right across from the elementary school that Joy will attend in oh-my-goodness-just-about-a-month.
We had perfect weather for our outing yesterday, sunny and warm with a light breeze. The prairie flowers are simply stunning this time of year.
Occasionally I had to encourage Joy to keep walking over the rocky sections of the path (rather than dropping to stim in the gravel and rub it onto her legs.) But mostly she kept going.
And once we got to paths of mown grass, it got even easier.
The long grass at the side of the path holds its own attractions, besides giving definition to the path to keep us from straying far.
There was a park bench under this oak tree that kept us circling back to this part of the path. We sat on it, stuffed grass strands through the slats, jumped down from it, used it as a changing table! (Didn't see another soul the entire hour we were out, other than one jogger just as we were returning to the parking lot.)
What a beautiful day.