So now I’m sitting on aluminum bleacher on the track at the Middle School eating leftover Chinese I reheated before the 2 second drive over here. Two days ago I was game for a run, but we’re all cooped up here so it was helpful to the roommates to take one with me. I turn to the 6 year old…
You wanna go for a run?
Just for clarification, it’s running the whole time, like…the idea is to keep running from beginning to end.
YEAH! Lets go!
And we went thus.
She loved it, only stopping for two breaks in 3 miles, both of which begged for by me. When we got home she made me promise, pinky-swear we would run again the next day. But daddy’s body can only take so much of a beating, and like a blessing from the ether the whole day was constant rain and cold. I felt bad, but rested. But I made a promise and even if I couldn’t keep it that day, I’d do my best to keep it at all.
So here we are, my pork fried rice turning out to only be 3/4 heated up by the microwave back in our definitely not-cold, definitely dry house. But my place on earth doesn’t matter right now. What matters is the earthworm in her hand, which happens less often than expected. The daughter of two people who would rather be barefoot in the woods swimming in creeks catching crayfish with their bare hands is still a little nervous about the slimy things crawling out of the ground. But I get it, we haven’t spent as much time out in the mud as we would have liked over the years and y’know what….some people are born a certain way and our kiddo was born with a penchant for hating messes.
At her first birthday my wife presented her with a smash cake. She didn’t understand, so we urged her on by plunging her hands into the top of the fish-decorated dessert. She looked at the mess on her hands and immediately began crying. Tears flow whenever anything gets spilled, even a little bit. It’s just the way we are sometimes.
Lets go for a drive.
We live in a small town half-way between the city and the edge of middle-Pennsylvania farm land. Half hour South are strip malls, car dealerships, billboards for makeup and movies. Twenty minutes North are farmhouses on big fields, barns of varying age holding animals of various types when they aren’t grazing on the side of these mountains.
We went North.
Up a couple streets we hadn’t been before, but not too far away from the places we know, the greenhouses we frequent in the summer and the butcher my parents go to sometimes.
I lead the music selection with Nick Cave. After one song I’m overridden and now we climb the side of this mountain road in my little Chevy to the sound of Taylor Swift telling us about her ex. I’m happy either way, me and TS go way back, and I already know that despite her lack of interest in getting hands on with critters, she’s always game for exploring daddy’s playlist.
Posted first on Medium