We did not have a traditional Labor Day—because all traditions get a reset this year—and since Laurea is still working on an event, Kina and I spent much of the day together. In an effort to experience some semblance of novelty, I decided we would avoid all playgrounds, which led to our sitting in the middle of a vast swath of artificial turf in McCarren Park, watching frisbees fly over our heads and playing the Tackle Game. As it turns out, two people can spend hours playing the Tackle Game, as long as one of you is willing to repeatedly walk fifty paces away and tackle the other person, and that the other person is comfortable sitting down and being tackled. That, in a nutshell, basically describes Kina and me. I think we annoyed the frisbee people by not “playing sports”, but let’s face it: they were throwing a frisbee, and my child was running full tilt towards me in an effort to knock me on my ass. I don’t know a lot about American sports, but that feels like it passes a lot more tests than frisbee does.
All weekend, Kina gathered sticks, stones, and acorns. As she collected these objects, she carefully placed them in a snack cup (which, as a snack cup—loyal readers will recall—had very recently contained seaweed). This morning, she carefully removed each item from the snack cup and placed it in our hands, urging us to “believe what I gave you”. I imagine (though I cannot confirm) that this phrase exists in opposition to the statement, “I can’t believe what you gave me”. In fact, I could believe that Kina offered me a pine cone this morning, and it still felt like a real heartfelt gift. I don’t ask for much, really—just a strangely damp pinecone on a Monday morning, proffered by a solemn and whispery preschooler.
I hope you had as good a Labor Day as we did.