It’s A Walk, Not A Safari

Jun 23, 2011 by

The Little Black Dress is one with walking.

Every morning she is off, water bottle attached to her side, earphones in her … wait for it … wait … ears. She does not meander, but rather hits a rather determined pace that makes me tired just watching.

She says it’s to stay in shape and develop a healthy lifestyle. She chronicles all this and more as part of her weekly Tuesday post on her blog called “The LBD’s Guide To A FabYOUlous You ~ Healthy Living.” I am particular proud of the “YOU” part she came up with.

Anyway. The Dress has determined the Sons of Thunder will not spend the entire summer solely exercising their thumbs. To wit, playing electronic games that involve nothing more than electricity and thumbs to control the remotes.

So she suggested The Sons join her on her daily jaunt. The problem was she made  a suggestion. Suggestions work only if said suggestion involves something The Sons want. Suggest they go take money out of my wallet and buy ice cream from the guy in the truck who drives by playing awful ice cream music – done. Suggest they quit playing video games and GO OUTSIDE BECAUSE IT’S ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL AND YOU ARE NOT GOING TO SIT AROUND ALL DAY – not happening.

An aside regarding the ice cream truck. You can get some crazy items – like an ice cream sandwich shaped and looking like a taco; you can get another one that looks like a clown; or go with the three-stage rocket. What you can’t get is a simple frozen piece of ice – one flavor – on a stick. In my day we called that a popsicle.

Whatever happened to the simple things in life?

Back to the suggestion. The suggestion turned into a request, which then turned into a “yes you are,” which finally led to the infamous “because I said so.” Said latter line pretty much ends debate. Ends the debate with normal children, but who ever said The Sons are normal? I will give them points, simply for pulling something out of the air. In their eyes, playing some character on a video game who jumps, catapults and swings from vines counts as exercise. You know, they are one with the character.

Again, I gave them points simply because that was about as far a stretch as you can possible make. But no dice.

To my mind, a walk involves possibly grabbing a water bottle, maybe a nice walking stick, opening the front door and commencing to, well, walk. I assumed this would be the case when you add kids to the mix. This would be true, but we are talking about The Sons here.

Eldest Son, a Boy Scout, asked if he should bring his knife and emergency kit. And he began packing said items, with other hiking/camping paraphernalia, into his backpack. That led to questions about which backpack to take – the big 65 liter; the 35 liter; or could it all really fit in one of 2,347 day packs we have around.

I got tired, very fast, simply saying “no” to every question and every item.

Second Son wanted to know – exactly, mind you – the details. A simple answer, something like “to the four-way stop sign” was insufficient. The Sons had to race to the computer, hit Google Maps, switch over to the satellite view, and then trace their journey.

After  purveying the route,, Second Son wanted to know how many sandwiches to pack.

Youngest Son became rather upset because he did not have “walking” shoes and suggested they all get said shoes at the big shoe store. Yes, The Dress and The Sons at a shoe store. That’s pure chaos just waiting to happen.

So I explain his “tennis” shoes actually are “walking” shoes. And he looks at me quite indignant and said they are “tennis” shoes and he needs “walking” shoes and I explain “tennis” is actually a generic term and he doesn’t play tennis anyway and he wants to know why he has tennis shoes then and what does “generic” mean and …

“Put on those shoes now or there will be no electronics for three days.”

So he does. But being A Son it takes him about 15 minutes to accomplish that task, all complete with the head down, dejected look that signifies he has no life and we are so mean and … yada, yada, yada.

I’ve had enough and head off to my office. About an hour goes by and I hear what I think is one of The Sons. Sure enough, everyone is still here. I thought they left an hour ago.

That would be a “no.” Because there is still debate over what snacks to take since sandwiches were nixed; they have all somehow forgotten how to tie their shoes; they are all debating what would be the proper hiking stick to take or rather would any of the myriad of hiking sticks/staffs qualify as a “walking” stick/staff; should they take water or Gatorade – a debate until itself over which will provide sufficient nutrient replenishment.

And there is apparently quite a discussion over attire. Should they wear cargo shorts to carry the extra supplies or can they cram everything in the two front pockets of regular shorts; what color shirt will absorb the sun’s rays, which will be cooler –  button-down or pullover t-shirt, cotton or one of those new fangled wicking shirts.

I will spare you the sock debate.

The Dress, meanwhile, looks like she’s already walked about 10 miles in 100-degree weather. This was due in fact to her rummaging through various drawers to find them clothes,; having about 15 various hiking/walking sticks fall on her head; yanking a crazy assortment of stuff out of their pockets; and generally answering way too many questions.

She finally looks at me, turns, and walks out the door. I think we can safely say The Dress has had enough.

So I call The Sons. I open the door. I take them outside. I walk back into the house and close the door.

And then I lock it.

With peace finally upon me, I wonder why something so simple has to become so complicated. Why do we intentionally make things hard?

Why can’t something just be what it is. Since when did a walk in the neighborhood turn into a safari?

Thoughts for another time.





Related Posts

Share This