Yesterday was the kind of hot day that makes London feel like a city in a different century, a day from the summers E. M. Forster wrote about in A Room with a View. I walked with Daniel up to Holland Gardens. The red brick houses were baking in sun in a particularly English way: gardens still and abandoned in the early afternoon, the grass vivid and green, slowly drying out, red roses and purple lavender bright and fragrant in the hot sun.
I met two friends with babies of similar age in the park. We sat on rugs in the shade. Daniel overcame his dislike of the itchy grass and started crawling away. He looked back for a minute and then kept going. Would he stop? It didn’t seem like it: on he went, arms and legs like little pistons, heading out of the shade into the bright sun. My baby: looking so small against the expanse of grass, so determined, so independent, so delighted with his mini-adventure.