Sunday, August 06, 2006

Hildr Hits the Trail

One of the things that the Maestro and I used to do in the evenings--before he gave up naps and started having to start to bed immediately after dinner--was to go for walks to the gas station. There is a small gas station, with a big air compressor that he likes, about a half mile up the four-lane road we live on. It took Riley several weeks to get used to the idea of him walking on the sidewalk next to the road, but he was not about to go on the road where he might get “smushed”. The main point was what he could find on the sidewalk or in people’s yards anyway. It was kind of an Elwood City nature walk.

Last night Hildr and I went for our first walk to the gas station. She’s thirteen months old, so she only made it about a quarter-mile, but I thought that was a good start. Since we didn’t make it, it may not seem like it was really a walk to the gas station, but it was of a type with what the Maestro and I used to do.

He was in bed, and Hildr and I were playing fetch in the living room when she went over to the front door and started pulling on the knob. I helped her into one of her ten favourite pairs of shoes, and we went out to the front yard. After looking at the flowers by the front step, she headed off across the lawn and up the sidewalk. We walked together, sometimes holding hands, sometimes not. She would stop to look at, and knock the fuzz off, the neighbour’s dandelions that were going to seed. She would try to sneak up people’s driveways, and make sure I noticed the motorcycles roaring past or the birds flying by.

We weren’t really going anywhere, and we weren’t really looking at anything. We were going exploring, and looking at everything. Before I realized it, we were half-way to the Maestro’s gas station, and Hildr needed to be picked up and carried home, just like the Maestro used to. When we got home, she was ready to snuggle into my arms, with one arm hooked around my neck, and quietly fall asleep.

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