Earlier in the week, Sean and I set out on a nature walk to see what we could see. It was late afternoon and it was chilly.
Along the way, we stopped and visited our favorite Labrador Retriever, Whitey. We don’t know if that’s really his name, but that’s what we call him. Whitey is old and fat and when we get to his house, I whistle loudly for him and Sean calls his name. It takes him a good while to waddle over to the fence. He plops down, exhausted, and leans against the fence. He sticks his muzzle through searching for a friendly hand and sniffs and licks. His eyes are tired but bright and he thumps his tail on the ground telling us he’s glad to see us. We pet him through the fence and tell him what a good boy he is. He closes his eyes in doggy contentment.
We continue on our walk, collecting beautiful leaves and acorns and other autumn treasures, all of which gets stuffed into the pockets of my jacket. It’s somewhere in the Bible that moms have to carry all the stuff.
When we got to the pond, Sean wanted to stand on the steep slope and put his hands in the water. I recommended against this action citing that the water is cold and he could easily fall in. He argued that he could do it without falling in. So I said, okay by me, but if you fall in, it won’t be very comfortable walking home cold and wet. This is the hard part of parenting, letting him make his own mistakes, letting him fall in cold, dirty pond water.
“Well,” he said in a very authoritative manner, “I’ll be the judge of your persistence!” which roughly translates to “I’m the boss of me.” Mr. Malaprops strikes again. He didn’t fall in.
It had been kind of a cruddy week. When I heard myself laugh at Sean and his awkward mastery of the English language, I realized that somewhere along the way, the crud had fallen away and my head had cleared.
An afternoon walk with my little boyfriend, petting an old fat dog and an amusing malaprop – good medicine for a bad attitude.