It’s crisp and bright and jackets have been tossed on benches. A monitor stands between the goal post and the large play set. Some little guys form a firing squad or a baseball team on the diamond, and I slow my pace so the kid can catch my shirt.
“You got me!”
“Now hide and seek! You count!” And he’s off again. His stride lengthening, I imagine, as I close my eyes and count to twenty.
Then we climb a couple of walls. And a tetherball pole. And smack the yellow ball round and round.
“Do you know how to play Four Square?” I ask.
“Yeah. Of course. You have to hit all the squares, and when there’s an earthquake, you run to the center and touch the line with your foot.”
“What about hopscotch? Do you know hopscotch?”
“Totally! You have to jump like this,” and he does, adding, “And no lines! Don’t touch any of them or you lose!” I take my turn, and he yells, “Now faster!” And we hop until we’re dizzy, and then we hop backward.
Here it is. Let me show you everything. Let us race until our lungs cry. Let the grass soak our shoes. Catch me. Faster. Catch me. Run. Hurry. Don’t let me get away.