Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wordy Wednesday #19: Forced Marches

Now that the weather has warmed and the ground has dried, it's time to take up hiking again. Or at least that's the way I see it. The way some of my kids -- who shall remain nameless at this point -- act, you'd think it was a forced march up and down hills. In a way, it is.

When I was 7 and 8 and 9 and the weather allowed it and the school calendar allowed it, my friends and some of my siblings would go on voluntary marches. We'd travel to the creek at the end of our dead-end street -- no one would have dared to call it a cul de sac because what's that but just a fancy-schmanzy word for "dead end"? -- and turn left and follow the creek into the woods. I don't know how far we went or how long we were gone, but we always packed lunches to eat on the way and we always had to use the bathroom. The toilet was a hollowed out tree trunk. We all used it. I kind of go "ick" nowadays, but it didn't bother me then.

Today, the kids can't wander by themselves for hours at a time. They have to be in constant contact with me or with another suitable adult. That means they don't get to just wander at their own pace on hikes. They can't explore on their own. They're stuck with me, pushing them along or telling them to wait or shouting at Youngest to "please just stop whining!"

I'm there to share their pleasures and their disappointments with their hike siblings lot in life. I throw them decisions to make -- to the left or to the right? around the hill or over the hill? this way to the pond or this way? -- and consensus is almost never achieved. I guess that's wandering in a way. Frankly, it's a wonder we ever make it to wander.

The first picture shows Eldest, his friend and Youngest, along with dog, choosing to go up the hill rather than around it.

The second shows Corrie-the-Mutton-head-Dog finally braving the watery elements to fetch her own damn ball when she tosses it in the pond.

The third is of Daughter, her friend and Youngest standing smack-dab in front of the biggest dang dandelion the world as ever seen. Sadly, Daughter's friend picked it to bring to her mother, only to see the faeries fly off long before we made it back home. It was a sight, though, to see those faeries floating on the wind.

To See What They Could See

Pond PaddlingDandy Lion

Rides to Heaven on a Gyroscope

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