We ate dinner out on the porch tonight (homemade mac and cheese, avocados, corn, in case you're curious) and heard the KO band practicing in nearby Dormont Stadium. Ella was curious about the noise, so we moseyed on up the hill after dinner.
Ella and I have been around the stadium many times, especially last year when a good stroll was useful for sleep. (It's one of the few flat places around Dormont.) But it's always been quiet as a church, and gated shut. Closed stadiums always look so clean and pristine, the grass perfect, the paint crisp.
Today it was open and hopping with high-schoolers. Flag wavers, tuba players, cheerleaders, interested parents, a few neighborhood folks. And just as I huffed her stroller up the hill the band wrapped up "Bohemian Rhapsody" (seriously!) and took a break.
Since I wanted her to see the band she needed to be entertained for a bit. No problem. She has this funny thing where she's very conscious of where she's walking when the terrain changes, or even different types of tile. To cross the change she'll take a slew of centimeter-steps, once over it's back to normal.
So moving from the ground to the bleachers: tiny steps. Different sets of bleachers: tiny steps. Bam, five minutes gone. Walking to the top of the bleachers to see if we can spy our house, then back down: ten minutes gone. Just strolling around watching the flag girls practice: another five minutes.
And finally the band started back up. At the first sounds of the drums firing up to get everyone in line and rhythm she jumped. Then when everyone got in position and they started to play ("Bohemian Rhapsody" again, argh) she pumped her arms and stomped her feet. And even though the band played another Queen song, followed by the Doors, she grinned and giggled and danced the whole time. Until finally it was time to go home and start the night-time routine.
But I think we'll be back again.
(Granted, that was a lot of writing for very little payoff, but I'm also writing these days for my family who isn't here, and for us in the future.)