I went for a walk today, my kids on their scooters.
Josh rides one that is silver and red, pushing smoothly along with his left leg. Push, push, glide. It wasn't always so easy for him, he used to tip the shiny scooter over on purpose and cry about how he just "couldn't do it!" But now it is almost as natural as breathing; push, push, glide.
Carly rides a fancy 3 wheel scooter, 2 big wheels in front for balance, and pink all over with princess faces and a cheerful bell. Carly is not nearly so smooth, choosing a much more elaborate method of motion. Push, push, push, push, push. No gliding, no resting. After only half a block she is already tired and steps off her scooter to walk beside it.
The wind is chill and crisp, slapping against our faces, bringing out the apple redness of our cheeks. Well, in the case of Carly I have a sneaking suspicion that underneath her silky chocolate she is the color of ripe apples, too. The sun and sky appear deceptively warm, with only wispy clouds floating lazily along in the sea of blue above skeletal tree branches.
I have a new appreciation for sidewalks, seeing as how they ran out about half way to our destination and we had to pick our way through squishy brown grass. The cold dampness seeps its way into my shoes and I tell Josh to watch out for puddles and smelly dog presents; behind me he is dragging his scooter sideways through the flattened, wet stalks.
I decide that I love the city, even the noise of the too-fast cars as they zoom past. In truth, they are probably going the speed limit or slower but my little princess dances close to the side of the street and makes my pulse beat faster. I love that I can walk to the store on this brisk spring day, I love that I can visit the Olive Garden or movie theater or Target on a whim. I appreciate the closeness of neighbors and rowdy, reckless parks. I have become a city girl after all this time.
At 7-11 we load up on treats, every one of them sweet, and slip back out into the cold with our booty. Feeling adventurous, we take the long way 'round hoping for less mush and more sidewalks. A little over half way - the children dragging along with their scooters - a treasure bag busts open, its contents rolling away in a half hearted escape attempt. But, I have deep pockets and we shove the treats into the openings and continue on. I spend most of my time carrying Carly's scooter now, as she lists along behind begging for home. Josh is in the lead, pushing his body through the biting wind, and soon home is in sight.
The warmth of the house rushes out to greet us as we push open the door.
There is no feeling like home, no feeling like the familiar scents and sounds and trappings. I put that table just there, that picture always wants to list to the left, that couch looks ragged but somehow it has managed to stand up to the adventures of two wild children (and their father). I grew this place, I lived and loved and changed while here. I imagined and wrote about random things. I slept and dreamed. In many ways, I will be sad to leave these four walls soon.
"Home, the spot of earth supremely blest, A dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest." - Robert Montgomery