The sun came out and went in over and over as the hours whizzed by on Friday afternoon at the Chinatown playground with Mabel Watson Payne. The camera got dizzy with adjusting itself, but at least part of the time enjoyed its preference for partial fog to diffuse the harsh shadows engendered by direct summer sun.
We had certainly remembered to bring along many things (snacks and sweaters and sunscreen and toys and hats and water) but we did NOT remember to bring along any balls to roll down the slide. Of course it turned out that the only thing Mabel really wanted in the whole world was to play the game of rolling balls down the slide and watching where they rolled to and then chasing them down and starting over. No balls on Friday, but all was not lost! We improvised with big round sticks of colored sidewalk chalk. They also could be rolled down the slide and chased and gathered up (as above and below). Mabel's brand-new enormous blue leather hard-soled shoes can be admired in these chalk-gathering pictures, as well.
During the relatively quiet time after snack we used the chalk more in line with manufacturer's intentions by drawing with it on a concrete ledge of convenient height. Later, at the dinner table, Mabel accurately reported to Daddy and Mamma what we made – three ducks (each floating on evenly-spaced waves of water). And a duck-nest with three eggs in it. And two flying seagulls. And a dog. And an owl.
Mabel rode in the stroller on the uphill trek home (helping to navigate as we weaved our way through masses of oblivious downtown tourists in their expensive unflattering clothing) and as we trekked we ardently discussed the ELEPHANT we planned to make next time with the sidewalk chalk. An enormous life-size elephant – on that much we agreed – but should our future enormous sidewalk elephant by made with pink chalk or with blue? That was the question. Mabel decided probably blue.