Such glorious weather we have had for pretty much the entire month of July. The calendar assures me July does actually come after June, but the weather these past two months have me questioning the calendar. June was hot (unbelievably hot) and July has been inviting and wonderful. This evening I decided we needed to enjoy this weather because who knows what August will bring. Hopefully more of the same that July has offered us. So we ventured tonight to a little park a little ways up the road from where we live. It is a very quaint park. It has one baseball diamond, a tetherball court (minus the the tetherball), a small basketball court and a very small area with playground equipment. Ava found more fun on the unoccupied baseball diamond to wile away the evening and to exert a lot of three year old little girl energy. For me this presented the perfect photo op. We did start off the evening with a picnic which surprisingly Ava ate quite well. Most of the time she is so distracted by wanting to play that she barely touches her food. Tonight she surprised me though and ate quite well. After the Mom in me was satisfied with what she ate and how much she ate, I allowed her to run and play until her heart was quite content. She gave a once over to the playground equipment and then set her sites on the baseball field.
Yes, a dirt field will win the heart of my daughter over brightly painted playground equipment almost any day. But then again that is probably the case with most children. I knew she was going straight home to get a bath after this evening adventure, so I was not worried about just how dirty she was going to get. I am sure she was surprised at my carefree attitude this evening. ;)
I even was so bold to suggest that she remove her shoes and run barefoot on the baseball field. I am sure Ava thought I might have just lost my mind to let her go barefoot in a public park without worry of her stepping on something. But Ava did not let her mind ponder on my carefree attitude for but a mere second or two and plunked right down in the dirt to remove her shoe. First she just took one off and was running around with one shoe in hand and the other still on her left foot.
Eventually she decided it was not near as much fun to run and play in the dirt with one shoe on and one shoe off. So off the other shoe came. She stopped for a bit to pick at some dirt under her fingernail. Oh how she can not even imagine this was just the beginning of her adventure. :)
Running in the dirt with her beloved baby and doggie is a exhilarating evening for a little one. Such a carefree spirit she is. Her eyes just sparkled and danced with joy this evening.
This photo above just amazes me at how much she is growing and becoming quite a little girl and is leaving behind this toddler phase I am not quite ready to let go of just yet. I want to hang on for a while longer, but when I see photos such as this it reminds me that her growing up is beyond my control and I just have to enjoy the moments we have right now. It truly just amazes me at how much she has grown since last July. I never thought it was possible to love her anymore that I already do, but I fall more and more in love with her every single day. I never knew this kind of love was possible until I had her.
Okay so onto Ava's dirty baseball diamond adventure! :) See the twinkle in her eye and the joy on her face in the above photo. Her laughter was so contagious tonight. A sheer evening of joy for not only her, but for me as well.
Here she decided it would be fun to toss dirt up in the air like it was raining. Her scalp after all was said and done tonight had a layer of this dirt in it. You could barely see any color of her scalp she was so "dirty". And my bathtub tonight was proof of just how dirty she was able to get tonight. :)
And now she ponders what else she can explore before we call it a night and head for home and a much needed bath on her part.
Oh yes how could she not inspect tiny blades of grass and little granules of dirt. No adventure would be complete without doing this. I find it amusing to watch her explore and discover the little things in life and the things that surround us. If we allowed ourselves to really get down on the level that children do when they want to learn or see new things I think we could learn a lot more than from where we stand and see things. Our view often times is unclear, but we can learn so much from children and the way they do things.
And finally the sun was close to calling it a night and so we needed to head for home. as well Ava must have been wore out because she didn't even protest when I said it was time to go and when it was time to put her shoes back on. While walking back towards the car I followed her and was so caught up in the moment of seeing how independent she has become in just these few short years I had to take one final picture. Here's to many more evening picnics and walking barefoot through the dirt with my daughter.