Sunday afternoon was a quintessential spring day in New York City. Sixty-one degrees and the sky was as blue as the Caribbean I’m dreaming about (and will feel on my feet in three days). But somehow my seven-year-old son and I couldn’t motivate out of our pajamas.
By 3 p.m. 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 Legos—building and battling. Sometimes he mixes all three. Throw in some French toast for breakfast, Mac and Cheese for lunch and the boy is feeling life is as good as it gets.
And it is.
I say, “Let’s 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.