Summer Nights in a Big City

IMG_8822Don’t you just love summer? I do. I love all the other seasons too, though, so it’s so hard to pick a favourite. But beach BBQ’s, flip-flops, and sunshine make it pretty hard to beat – and getting out of our apartment and keeping that dinner mess outside? Well that makes me one happy lady. So last week we met up with some old friends on the beach for BBQ chicken tacos, fresh guacamole, and an awesome Mexican-style bean and corn salad with (get this!) kale and dates! It was so unexpected and so, so good. Leanne, I need to steal that recipe, you always inspire. But anyhow, there we were, happily eating our dinner when we spotted, uh, Iron Man. Yes, the cutest little boy dressed in full Iron Man garb happened to be playing on the grass nearby. I think J thought he was instantly amazing (given his choice of outfit for the evening)  – if only she had been wearing her Tinkerbell costume! Long story short, J walked over and introduced herself, chased Iron man for a while (which was entertaining), then Iron Man made his way over to our blanket and asked in the sweetest voice ever, “can my little fwend have some wataamelon?” We said yes and off he ran to tell his mother, who incidentally, was playing a guitar. I loved that. A few minutes later, Iron Man appeared again; this time to ask, “is it okay if my little fwend has some Oweeo cookie?” Again, we said yes, and I thought, man, J may never come back to our beach blanket, we totally don’t have cookies and watermelon. Eventually, I made my way over to thank the people who had generously shared their food with our daughter. As it turns out, they live right around the corner from us, and have decided that this summer they will eat more meals on the beach (something that I’d like to do this summer, too). I felt that I needed to tell them how impressed I was with their set up: guitar,  Oreo cookies, watermelon, cricket equipment, cards, and let’s not forget: a child dressed up as Iron Man. As we chatted, they admitted that they were equally impressed that we dragged our BBQ to the beach and were making tacos. I think we were mutually impressed that our children were playing with each other, allowing us to indulge in some adult conversation and (woot woot!) chew our food – a serious novelty these days.

Okay, so maybe that story was not so short. And I’m not even sure where I was going with it. But it’s those type of nights that feel like summer to me. And it’s so nice to eat outdoors, to hang out with “fwends”, to meet strangers in a big city (who turn out to be your neighbours). And I know you’re not supposed to let your kids take food from strangers, but somehow this felt different, like this big city just got a whole lot smaller.  Yeah, summer, you’re pretty great. Glad it’s only July.

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