We’ve been taking family walks in the woods since our only child was four-legged. Actually a bike path near the local dog park, it’s always been a great place to let Cordi sniff and poop and run around off-leash. (Not fond of dog parks, our baby girl’s more fond of her people.) The path also offers a quiet escape, a shady respite from the summer/spring/autumn heat. And it’s the perfect place to find rocks for Papa to border the landscaping in our yard.
So this past weekend we set off on a family walk/rock hunting expedition, so Papa could get some rocks and check off an item on his pre-wedding to-do list. We loaded up the four-legged kid, the two-legged kid and the wagon, which was for hauling rocks, and ultimately, a tired two-legged kid.
As evidenced by the hat and shirt, JJ had been to a friend’s birthday party earlier that day at the neighborhood fire station. It was Papa’s turn to take him (I took him to a party last weekend), but it was Papa’s second fire station party. I think I need to plan better next time, or just claim dibs on the next party featuring firemen. Just sayin’…
PROUD NERD DADS MOMENT: The party goers were being given a tour of the fire house, and the woman leading the tour stopped to give the kiddos (mostly 3 and 4 year-olds) a brief lesson in emergency preparedness. Afterwards she asked the kids, “Okay, now who do you call when there’s an emergency?”
A few seconds of silence passed, and our son piped up and shouted, “GHOSTBUSTERS!”
The room erupted with laughter from parents and firefighters alike, with several moms and dads coming up to Papa afterwards to tell them what cool parents our son has.
JJ was very much into the whole “rock-hunting” aspect of our excursion, grabbing random rocks and handing them to Papa, most of the time too small for the intended purpose or too large for JJ’s super strength to pick up. At the peak of his rock-gathering frenzy, JJ grabbed the above stick and exclaimed, “YOOK, A STRAIGHT ROCK!”
Fireman JJ and his trusty fire dog, Cordi, stop for a moment of determined cuddles.
It was starting to get dark (not quite as dark as the photo depicts — Instagram filter, y’all) so we gathered kids, wagon and rocks and headed back home. Thank you, woods, for another too brief retreat from the noise of life and a chance to stroll and chase, to collect and explore, to just be… and be family.
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