Tuesday, February 22, 2022

The Nature Outing

Yesterday was glorious. Warm, sunny, beautiful.

The kind of day that gives a person hope that winter will not actually last for the rest of our lives.

February may be the shortest month, but damned if it doesn't last like eight years. Every single time.

But yesterday. Ohhh.

So Nick said, "Let's go for a hike! We'll go to Great Falls!" 

Our children, who turn out to be about as nature-y as I am, were all, "Noooooooooooo!"

They went boneless. They slumped on the floor. They groaned. 

And while it is true that if left to my devices I will have a nibble of the outdoors, like a nice run, perhaps, and then retreat to a good book indoors, I do recognize how much better we feel when we walk outside, touch a tree, connect with actual earth.

In the grim depths of the pandemic, I would drag the kids and Wanda to Rock Creek, and we would walk for maybe 30-40 minutes. On the path next to the water, we would stop and yell at the top of our lungs.

We'd return rejuvenated.

So we scraped the kids off the floor, and I packed water and snacks. We settled the kids and Wanda, who loves the rare car ride, comfortably in the back. We headed for Great Falls.

As did, unbeknownst to us, the rest of the DC metropolitan area.

As I said, the day was gorgeous. We were all immediately in better moods on the road to the nature!

The kids had snacks. We listened to music. We got into Virginia.

And everything slowed down. The road got narrower and windier. The traffic increased. Everywhere that there was a parking lot along the road was packed, with cars waiting for spaces to park.

It was stop and go. 

We were about a mile and a half from the park and traffic was stopped in our lane. We assumed it was a line to enter the park.

We had three hours until India's orthodontist appointment. And no desire to wait an hour to get in.

We decided to turn around. If there was a spot in any of the lots on the way, we'd park and take a hike there.

So Nick pulled a quick U-turn.

A few minutes later, Jordan started to yell. "Wanda's puking! Wanda's puking on my lap!"

Wanda, dearest Wanda, who has been terribly itchy for a while, who has recently started eating fish kibble, which has totally helped with the skin itching, puked that fishy kibble into Jordan's lap.

Which caused Jordan to retch. Which caused India to retch.

If this is reminiscent of an earlier incident, let me just tell you that regurgitated fish kibble is way better than poo.

Nick pulled the car down a small side road and parked in front of another car, also pulled over. Because, as it turned out, her small daughter needed to go potty.

She offered us wipes. Boy, were we grateful.

So Nick swabbed Jordan off, and mopped up the back seat with the wipes, while I walked Wanda in the big grassy area next to us. 

India saw what looked like the back of a tiny library and asked if it was OK if she went and looked at the books.

I was pretty sure it was one of those signs that tell you the name of the manor or horse farm or whatever property we might be trespassing on, but she was having so much fun running in the grass.

Seriously. She and Jordan and Wanda were frolicking.

Jordan was like, "I like this field! Can we hike here?"

I didn't have the heart to tell my city child I was pretty sure it was someone's lawn.

So we got our sunshine and prancing out, and then India checked herself for ticks, because The Nature has many dangers great and small.

And then we went home. And Jordan took a shower.

The end.