Walking the Border Collie this morning I took a different route than usual. I have been told (twice now) that dogs in general and border collies in particular need mental stimulation as well as physical exercise. And that this means not to take the same walk everyday so as not to bore the dog.
So on our mix-it-up-live-a-little walk this morning we pass a small park in our neighborhood. I had a flashback to the days of yore. Translation: 15 years ago. We bought our house in 1993 when Son was one and Daughter was four.
I remember taking the kids up to this park a lot when they were little. They have this cool little wall around one of the trees, with a sidewalk and two gates. My daughter could go for quite awhile opening and closing the gate. Pushing son in stroller through and then doing it all over again. I could sit on the wall and watch. On this one day I was watching a friend’s kids. Her daughter was seven and her son was four. At the time I was not aware that seven year olds are sometimes quite good readers.
Hey kids let’s walk to the top of the hill and look at the view.
Scurrying and running from the three kids. I pull my son out of the stroller and take him up on my hip. The view is gorgeous and I have a blanket with me to spread out and sit on with the baby. The two four year olds are chasing each other around as four year olds do, but end up right by my side when the precocious seven year old comes up.
Somebody wrote on that tree over there.
Like carved the tree?
No, it looks like paint.
AH. The teenagers did graffiti on a tree. They shouldn’t do that.
Can you look at it and read it. I read it but I don’t get it. It says, “Either eat me or fuck me.”
That’s OK. I heard you. Sweetie, can you show me the tree?
She walks me a few feet over where a tree’s trunk has a burl in it- that I have to admit looked like one big wooden vulva. The child traces the words, which are circled around the alleged genitalia, with her fingers and says, See, Auntie. Eat me or..
Yeah. You know what? I have no idea what it means. Some stupid teenagers wrote some stupid words. But your mommie is smarter than your auntie so you can ask her when she comes back later.