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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Walk in the Park

One would think there is nothing more simple or pleasurable than a walk in the park on a beautiful, mildly cool, fall day.  Then again, if you know my family, things that look simple on the outside can quickly become complex once you peel back the layers and get to the inside.

At the beginning of this week, Blue made a list of thing to do on this Thanksgiving break.  On the top of this list is to go hiking at a nearby trail.  He so needs exercise as the medication he's taking has helped him gain a few pounds.  Supposedly, exercise is also it will be great for his not-so-lovely teenage mood.  On this lovely afternoon, he has actually been in a pretty good mood because we have company over. He has a little sister for the day.  They have been laughing, playing and challenging each other all day.

My girlfriend has to work and we love to borrow her daughter whenever we can.  Skye is 8 years-old, smart, gorgeous an with a quick wit...definitely my kinda girl.  Actually, almost any little girl is my kind of girl.  I am surrounded by testosterone most of the time.  Sweet little girls are refreshing.  I made her promise not to change when she becomes a tween.  She promised she would not change...but then again, so did Blue.

After walking for miles through the streets and along the bay in San Francisco on my vacation, I think to myself, this walk will be a breeze.  Let's do it!  Walking is much more fun when there is something to see, instead of walking around a boring track or on a treadmill. Communing with nature is good for the soul.  So off we go.

Harry our little Maltese is also along for the walk.  I didn't really think he could keep up, but the kids, especially Blue, insisted that he come. 

I have my I-pod earphones in one ear, walking in rhythm to the sound of the "Black-eyed Peas". I am using the other ear to hear the kids if I need to.  Me and Skye, my daughter for the day, are a few steps ahead of Blue.
Suddenly, he starts yelling at us...
"Wait...slow down!"
We are literally just a few steps ahead of him.  I wonder why he sounds so angry? He was just fine moments ago. We keep walking at a moderate pace.  I can tell his attitude has definitely turned to crap. We reach a big blue pole, which is an emergency phone station.  Blue wants to stop here. Skye wants to keep going...so do I.

"You always want to stop here. Come on this is an adventure.  We need to keep going," she says.
We compromise and take a rest stop.  
We are all sitting on a park bench.  The two of them are having shall we say, an exchange of ideas.  He is bitching and moaning because he wants to stop and turn around.  She is telling him he needs to push through it, in her sweet little girl voice.  Hiking was his idea after all.
He is completely argumentative and combative.  He accuses her of arguing with him to which she replies, "I'm not arguing.  I'm just trying to have a conversation!"
Ah hah! This is the exact sentiment I have all the time when I am trying to talk with Blue and his father.  If you are not in complete agreement with them ..thinking the very same thoughts, in his mind you are arguing with him!  Finally, I have proof that I am not crazy!  I just need another sane person to live in the house with me to help me prove it!
Did I tell you I love this girl?!
Taking a Break 
The next thing I know Blue takes off...and not in the direction of the car.  Suddenly, he is determined to make it to the end of the trail.  He gets nearly a quarter of a mile ahead of us, in the twist and turns of the trail, to the point where I can't see him anymore.  It's starting to get dark.  I realize that if we don't start heading back soon, we will find ourselves walking back in the moonlight.  I finally get to a point where I can see him.  I call out to him yelling his name, waving for him to come back.
"We have to head back now! It's going to get dark!"
He hesitates, but decides to head back in our direction.

Once we are walking together again, the two of them are slightly ahead of me.  I here Stell say...
"I'm sorry Blue. I didn't mean to make you angry."
My heart melts a bit.  I think...this is what it would be like for him to have a little sister.  They would not get along all the time, but she would help bring out the best in him, that caregiver side that teachers see at school, that we see when he's with his younger cousins.  He apologizes to her as well, and then to me.
Skye and Harry in the dark

We pull out our phones to use the flashlight app.  We are now walking in the dark.  Part of his anger I discover, is that fact that Stella and I were laughing and talking...enjoying our walk together, while he was walking with his IPOD in his ears and not a part of the conversation.  He could very well have joined the conversation, but chose to get angry instead.

This girl is so smart...so funny and such a grown up little soul.  She is growing up with her single-mom. I think spending so much one on one time with an adult has made her grow up faster than your average girl.

"I know you would rather have a little girl mom." He is only partially correct.  I would love to have a little girl not instead of him, but in addition to him and his brothers.  I tell him this.  I don't think he believes me.  One thing about it...we will never find out for sure. The only little girls I will have, will be borrowed.