So off to the park we go.
Aaron likes to throw rocks. So I decided we'd go to a park by one of the man-made lakes.
It'll be splendid: McKye can play at the park, Aaron can throw rocks, babay-swing for Levi,
it should just be a lovely little evening outting.
SHOULD have been.
Except for one slight problem...we need to move to the middle of nowhere.
After staying a week with my friend, she made the very accurate observation about Aaron, "He just does things that make sense...to him" ie I'm tired I fall asleep. I'm not tired ( at 4 am)
I wake up. Meal times don't make sense: I'm hungry, I eat (sometimes fries off of some strangers tray at MacDonalds) but to him to makes sense.
I want to throw rocks, I'm gonna throw rocks. Whether the little suburban-utopia planners didn't design the picaresque, property price enlarging lake to be for rock throwing enthusiasts or not.
And they did not.
Last summer we did lots of rock throwing, but this summer Aaron has decided it's way better to be in the water as you throw.
Well and if your shorts get wet, it makes sense to take them off. We left quite a few of our old rock throwing venues this summer, trying to be discrete about Aaron's clothing or rather his lack thereof.
Now, this is why we should live in the middle of nowhere. Where it would be okay for my 5 year old to throw rocks in his ginch. Civilization can be really over-rated.
So I'm all conflicted. One voice is saying, it's fine, who cares. And the other is imagining concerned suburbanites glaring out their windows as my poor pantless child climbing on the "dangerous" rocks, "unsupervised" (McKye kept pulling me to the playground, but I could still see Aaron), about to drown any moment!
Safety is good. Supervision is necessary. I get it. But sometimes I wish I felt like I could just give my kids a little space without feeling like a negligent parent that could be reported to social services...ya know?!?
Trying to deal with McKye whining at me to come play with him, while trying to make sure Aaron didn't wander too far (fall in the lake, drown and prove all those imaginary people judging me right) was sucking all the "fun" out of our little outing. I gave up.
I drug a screaming McKye and a heartbroken Aaron (you haven't heard a more heart breaking cry than Aaron's no more throwing rocks sobs) back to the van, where they woke up Levi (yup he'd fallen asleep on the way and I left him..with the door open, where I could see him the whole time, again, realizing social services is being called any moment) and I proceeded to drive away with all three kids crying full on, so glad (insert sarcastic tone) I had put forth the effort to try and take my kids on an outing.
And then I decided to "try again."
I live on the edge of the city and we turned away from the pesky judgment-filled residents, of horizon-blocking cookie-cutter homes (of which one is ours)
and followed a gravel road to freedom.
Even Levi was just so content to sit and watch the continuous splashes, and nibble on a rock or two. (which, had we been at some populated city park, I would have felt obligated to take from him, and quickly sanitize his hands and face. Not here! Go for it, chew on some rocks, my boy and let your nose run while your at it!)
And I loved it.
Loved how the river valley made a natural shade for us, without umbrellas, and canopies and patio furniture. Loved how the sun drenched the banks across the river, as the hills basked in the last evening rays, like some giant sun bathers, content with a long afternoon of drowsy day-dreaming.
He brought this one to me, heaved it from far up the shore, wanting me to throw it, which I did.
He erupted into such satisfied giggles, I ended up kicking my own sandals off and joining him,
looking for bigger and bigger rocks, resulting in bigger and bigger splashes, producing bigger and bigger giggles, and more and more love in my heart to for my simple boy, who just can find
total joy in throwing rocks.
I got to be a little more like Aaron and do things not because that's what people expect, or what is socially acceptable, but because it made sense. Tonight it made sense to let McKye sit in the river in his jeans. It made sense to let Levi suck on stones. It made sense to wade in the river with my son and make him happy by throwing rocks. Cuz he's right, it is fun.
As we were leaving, I saw this sign and thought it pretty much summed up how I felt.