It was Father’s Day and because of a tight deadline he was on, the only thing my husband wanted to do was get some work done. It was rainy on and off (mostly on) and it seemed like the lazy Sunday would be spent inside. But with the boys getting louder and cabin fever starting to set in, I decided to take them for a nice long walk.
Not too far from where we live, but unbeknownst to many people (even the newly arrived locals) is a hidden entrance to the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway. It is “hidden” because it is covered by long branches and trees, hidden behind expressways and bridges. We made our way down 181st St, and the long winding path that lead us right in Fort Washington Park and the newly refurbished, recently opened promenade leading toward The Little Red Lighthouse.
The Little Red Lighthouse has an awesome history, and is one of the most respected and cherished landmarks of the area. The views are amazing, even on this hazy day, encouraging the boys to sit for a rest, enjoy the wind as it hit their little faces, and watch the sailboats go by. The lighthouse looked proud and majestic, even with the much larger George Washington Bridge as its backdrop. Cyclists and walkers all stopped to take pictures and admire the scenery. We could’ve stayed there forever…except the kids started kicking the rocks at each other which meant it was time to move on.
We walked over past the tennis courts, and down the narrow path towards the beach and picnic area. The only thing to note about this path is that unfortunately the cyclists FLY through both ways, making it very dangerous to walk on, especially for little kids.
Once we arrived to the grassy area, the 2.5 year old went on his own, taking a moment to sit on the grass and chase butterflies. His older brothers, on the other hand, went straight to the beach, and started playing with a canine friend they made while there.
It didn’t take long for my younger ones to get courageous and forget about the fact that they had shoes on and no swimsuits (and that it was the Hudson River! Though on this particular day the water seemed clear and very clean) and they jumped right in with their canine friend before I insisted that they come out.
It mattered little that they were wet, for not long after the sky once again became dark and rain started to fall. The boys excited about getting wet, began to run and jump and laugh full of joy. I knew exactly how they felt, for I too love getting caught in the rain and the sense of freedom and carefree feeling it brings.
We hurried along to the nearest exit, which isn’t one I had ever taken before, and this in turn lead us onto a hiking path. The boys took on this new part of their adventure with happily, imagining that all sorts of things were going to happen as they walked on the winding path, covered with broken twigs and berries that had fallen from the many trees that grazed their hair as they made their way through.
At one point my 3.5 year old whispered that a dragon might be hiding in the bushes.
“No, a faiwee!” exclaimed his younger brother.
“No! It’s a dark knight looking for the treasure we are carrying for the king!” added the 11 year old.
They all laughed as I made monkey noises and that of other wild animal of the jungle. No one cared that we had no idea where this path was leading us, or that we had been on it all the while the rain got heavier. Our shoes were muddy and soaked, and we could not have been happier. Eventually we made our way out, and with that so did the sun. The children slowly walked back home full of stories to share with their Dad.