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A Pleasant Walk

Last February, Michael spent a few days in the hospital getting IV antibiotics to clear up an infection around his eye. It was an upsetting and scary time for us, but Michael held up pretty well. Especially when he got a ride in a red wagon.

Michael enjoyed the wagon so much that my parents got him one for his first birthday. We imagined many pleasant evenings taking walks around the neighborhood with Michael in tow.

The only hiccup in that plan is that we live in Houston. And Houston summer evenings are not pleasant. As a matter of fact, they are rather unpleasant. Words like “muggy” and “heatstroke inducing” also spring to mind.

So our dream of a pleasant evening walk had to wait.

Until this week. Monday night, the stars aligned so that the weather was pleasant, Garrett was home from work, and I was actually dressed in going-outside-of-the-house clothes all at the same time. So we took our first walk in the red wagon.

Michael wasn’t too sure about things at first…

But he quickly acclimated to his new mode of transportation.

I love this picture. For several reasons:

  • I love seeing my two guys together.
  • I love seeing Michael do his new favorite thing, which is to point at anything and everything.
  • And I love love love my man’s shoulders and calves.

Michael absolutely loved our walk. He loved being outside and seeing so many new things from a different perspective. It was such a nice walk that I determined to make it a regular thing now that the weather allows it.

So this afternoon, Michael was playing in the living room, throwing toys willy nilly, chasing the cats, and trying to climb into crevices when he suddenly spied the back door and realized that he absolutely had to go outside. IMMEDIATELY.

My beautiful child stood on his precious tippy toes, hung onto the door knob with both hands, threw his head back, and released a tormented and anguished wail. Which left me to wonder if I’d really birthed this child that had such a sudden and passionate love for the Great Outdoors. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Nature. I just usually prefer to enjoy Nature while sitting on a comfy patio chair with a book in one hand and a latte in the other.

But I decided to go ahead and take my little nature lover for a walk. A pleasant walk on a beautiful day, with birds chirping and heart singing.

So I pulled out the stroller and we went on our merry way. Mother and son spending quality time together. From the outside it must have looked sweet and serene and suburbanite. But here’s what I was thinking on the inside:

  • “Wow, that sun is really bright. And hot. The left side of my body is really heating up. This was a Big Mistake. Oh good, a breeze. That’s nice. This was a Great Idea. Darn it, the breeze is gone, and that sun is brutal! Should I have changed? Is Michael ok? Is he too hot? Does he care?”
  • “Maybe I should pick up the pace and get some good exercise out of this. But then it’s not a nice relaxing walk anymore. But that bag of Baked Cheetos isn’t going to work itself off. But I’m not wearing the right shoes. Maybe I should have changed into my gym shoes. Although my black wedge Skechers are so much cuter and feel kind of like sneakers. Or at least they would if I was wearing socks. But then they wouldn’t be cute anymore.”
  • “Should I be talking to Michael instead of just thinking to myself? That could help him develop his language skills. I could point things out to him and name them. But he’s got his back to me and won’t see me pointing. And even if he did see me pointing, he’d just stare at my finger. Why does he expect me to look at stuff that he points at, but doesn’t understand when I point to something? Why hasn’t he made that connection?”

And on and on it went. By about five minutes into the walk I really wished that I could turn off my internal monologue. The constant worry and nitpicking and second-guessing. I think I could have at least turned down my internal volume a bit with a longer walk, but, alas, a dachshund escaped from his yard and chased us back to our house. And by “chased” I mean that he barked enough that I thought it was a good enough reason to get inside and away from that blasted sun.

Still, it was a pleasant walk. Only I think I’ll wait for the sun to go down a bit next time.

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