I unfurl our picnic blanket on a patch of grass thickly shaded by a canopy of leaves. Anthony kicks off his flip flops and makes himself at home. I pull out the water bottle and offer Isobel a sip.
“Do you want to go play in the water?”
We spread out on the crocheted blanket that looks like a mosaic of leftover yarn from someone’s stash. The woman at the flea market didn’t prize a handmade blanket like I did, and when I asked her how much she tried to convince me to buy a newer blanket, still in its original blanket. When I tell her I’m not interested she sells me the handmade one for a dollar.
We snuggle on the blanket, dressed for an afternoon at the water park but instead partaking in lazy conversation while Isobel entertains herself with some flowers and a ladybug. It crawls across her face and she laughs hysterically. She chases the vermillion insect with a stick for an hour. He must like it because he doesn’t bother to fly away, and when we lose him in the cotton folds of the blanket, he always comes back.
“Are you ready to get in the water now, Isobel?”
“Nope!” She watches the kids playing in the spray, splashing each other and shrieking. She laughs and thinks they are hilarious, but she doesn’t want to join in. She was enthralled by the water the last time we came but now shows little interest.
We spend two hours talking and watching the children play while the sun moved through the filter of the trees.
“It’s time to go,” I say, “We’re going to meet our friends for lunch.”
“I want to go in the water.”
Anthony and I look at each other and shrug. We pack up our stuff and head to the fountains.
“Pick me up, Dada. I want to go with you.”
With his good arm Anthony lifts her off the ground and sprints through a waterfall of arches spraying water. She clings to him with every fiber of her tiny body.
“Did you have fun?” I ask as I swaddle her in a towel.
“Do you want to go again?”