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My boring sentences

Just married smooches

My husband and I exchanged vows at the El Dorado East Regional Park.

Across the street from where we married is one of my family’s favorite places to stroll on the weekend: the El Dorado Nature Center.

My family went for a walk there Sunday. My husband and my sons were all sick, coughing and sneezing and leaking out the nose; nevertheless, since even sickness doesn’t stop the wiggles from building up in two- and six-year-olds, we had to get out of the house.

About fifteen minutes into our walk, we saw two Latinx youth sitting side by side at a bench on the border of a pond. As I pointed out turtles to my boys, my husband chatted with the youth, who’d been lured there by PokemonGo. “I didn’t even know this place existed!” said one.

Further along the path, we found no other PokemonGo players, but we did find rabbits. Lizards. Butterflies. I crouched in front of a small, barren bush waiting for a chance to snap a picture of two dragonflies at once.*

dragonflies

I still needed to get out my own wiggles after we finished walking the one-mile path, so I took the kids around the quarter-mile loop nearer the center itself. About one-quarter of the way along the path, we happened across a young black man and woman each hunched over their phones.

“Oooh! Hey,” I called. They looked up, startled, so that I quickly followed with, “Are you playing PokemonGo?!”

They smiled and said they were, indeed, playing.

“Cool!” I said. “I read a lot about this yesterday, but it’s pretty rad actually seeing it live.”

As I walked away with my boys, the woman called out to a group of Asian youths standing nearby. “Hey, are you able to find [this one guy]?!”

I beamed and said quiet thanks to whomever’s listening that PokemonGo came out when it did.

Further along the path, I encountered two women in hajib chasing after a toddler. The toddler’s mom and I smiled at each other. “How’s it going?” she asked.

“Great,” I replied before running after my own escaped toddler. “Have a good one!” I called as I ran.

My boys and I finished the trail moments later. At its end, we found Anthony chatting with an older white man.

“Could we go one more time without [Littler]?” Li’l D asked me. “I want to run!”

I, too, wanted to run. I said, “Yes, but you cannot run if there are people around! We need to be very careful on this trail.”

He immediately hightailed it and plowed through the nearest group of PokemonGo players. “You’re breaking the only rule I set for you!” I shouted. “Stop!”

He didn’t stop, leading him to almost run physically into a short, stout white woman walking with her shoes in her hands. “No running!” she told him sternly. “You can run on the other trails, but not this one!”

He didn’t stop running afterward, but he was definitely more judicious about where and when he ran.

When we finished our second trip around that trail, Anthony rose from the bench, gathered up Littler, and wrapped up his chat.

“He’s a retired Long Beach Police Department officer,” Anthony explained as we walked back toward our car. “His kids are mixed race, too. ‘Aren’t they great?’ he asked me.”

I was smiling this big by the time Anthony and I packed our boys into the car. Online, it’s not always easy to see the people behind the text on the screen … but out there on the trail, even the tiniest of trails, our common humanity was as inescapable as it was inescapably beautiful.

july 2016 hike

* “Hey, I pointed that one dragonfly out first!” pointed out Li’l D,
who was seated next to me and reading over my shoulder as I typed this.
“Hey, I’m not reading!” he added, having reading that. “I’m only reading the fun sentences.
Most your sentences are boring.” Upon seeing me continue to type his commentary,
he concluded, “You scurrywag!”

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  1. July 12, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    Smiles mama. Those boys of yours are worth a bazillion ‘I gotta run’ moments.
    I was reading the news earlier and thought to myself ‘thank you Gid for Pokemon Go. The world needs a break from the sadness, even if only for a day, and to allow themselves a taste of a less burdened commonality. (I think that’s word I want.)
    I think it’s so very special that you take your boys to romp and play where you and your hubby said I do. It must be such an amazing feeling!💜

    • July 12, 2016 at 7:14 pm

      Having so many other new people on the trail and having them interact with each other was such a joy! I’ve seen various gripes about PokemonGo, but for me, technology that brings folks outside and across each others’ path is a joyous thing … and its timing could not have been better, IMO.

      There’s lots of work ahead, that’s undeniable, but I do believe we are all people at heart, and it was a joy to have it demonstrated so clearly and without need for anything else but these moments side by side.

      I’m so glad my guys and I went out, sniffles and all. ♥

  2. July 12, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    Btw – best family photo in ages!!!.💜💜💜

    • July 12, 2016 at 7:15 pm

      For a brief while, we tried seeking all smiles. Now, all four of us in one frame is enough. (And, yes, even that makes me sing Hamilton songs to myself ATM!)

  3. N.
    July 12, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    I think loving in an apartment building is like walking down that trail: you run into many, many different facets of humanity. It’s always nice to meet different sorts of people and realize we’re all basically the same underneath 😁 My brown skin doesn’t make me any better or worse as a mother or wife, my toddler will throw a tantrum irrespective of my skin color 😂

    • July 12, 2016 at 7:10 pm

      Heh. We lived in an apartment complex for the Li’l D’s first three years, trading it for parking spots and an isolated house … which would, I thought, be far more awesome than the apartment complex! But, no, I miss the complex, and the conversations, and all that connection! Here we have noise, hostility, and most the cons without the pros. I think that’s part of why we enjoy our hikes, though we’ve usually run into the same sets of people. It’s a reminder we’re a smaller part of a greater whole. It’s such a sigh of relief, that! Like being on the blog, but face to face. ♥

      (And, YES! ♥ Toddlers unite by their universal tantrum-throwing! D didn’t throw many, but J? ALL. THE. TIME!!!)

  4. Paul
    July 12, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    Awesome day with the family – you scurrywag, you. Ha! 😀

  5. July 12, 2016 at 8:57 pm

    Great post that made me smile – the experiences and Li’l D’s contributions. 🙂

  6. July 12, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    “Scurrywag” – fantastic! 🙂
    As are all your other words, boring or otherwise 😉

  7. July 12, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    Sounds like you all had a great time! I love the part where you had to yell that Lil’D was breaking the one rule you had set for him. For some reason that made me smile, a kids will be kids sort of thing. 🙂

    • July 13, 2016 at 5:20 am

      It was a blast–so many smiles, so many connections! Seeing that one-rule exchange anew through your comment also ushered in some smiles, thank you. 🙂

  8. July 12, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    🙂

  9. July 13, 2016 at 4:09 am

    I love your wedding photo and wow – what a beautiful family! You should feel so proud!

    • July 13, 2016 at 5:25 am

      In another Hamilaria moment, your comment has me humming some lines from musical-Hamilton’s words to his son and feeling very fortunate, and proud-like:

      Pride is not the word I’m looking for
      There is so much more inside me now

  10. July 13, 2016 at 4:40 am

    Li’l D is a natural born literary critic + wordsmith. How funny!

    • July 13, 2016 at 5:25 am

      This made me want to have him close at hand (well, elbow) when I write some posts in the future!

  11. July 13, 2016 at 9:36 am

    Howdy, Deb! What a great family picture! Your boys are getting soooo big. Gosh, I remember when Lil’ D was really little! That looks and sounds like my kind of park.

    After hearing all about Pokemon Go from my son-in-law last night, I’m about to download it myself. I think any activity to get people out, moving and exploring is awesome. Have a fantabulous day! 🙂

  12. July 13, 2016 at 10:02 am

    I loved this. We should all take the time to notice the things that make us similar.

  13. July 13, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    I still don’t understand the PokemonGo thing, but a friend of mine posted on FB that he’s excited that it got people outside and physically meeting each other. A rarity these days.

    It seems like you and Anthony are comfortable just starting up a conversation with people as you go along. An excellent trait.

    • July 15, 2016 at 7:55 pm

      Indeed. Both of us will talk to a tree stump if given the opportunity. D is the same…L’il J is working on that…though he draws them in like honey with smiles.

      • July 15, 2016 at 8:10 pm

        Anthony is not wrong. 🙂 I’m so comfortable speaking with anyone/everyone, that people often think I’m kidding about being an introvert. I totally am, though. I love people, but I’m good with about 10-15 minutes of conversation a day!

        (As I type this, Anthony says, “You scored me on false pretenses!” Incorrect! My introversion has simply been … enhanced … by having two tiny people hovering around my person during all non-working/non-commute hours for the past few years.)

  14. July 13, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    I loved this post! I too have been thankful for the uniting effect of Pokemon Go. My kids were playing it in a park in Denver and there was so much more interaction that day!

    • July 15, 2016 at 8:13 pm

      I know there have been a few down sides to it, but man, I hope people continue interacting like this for weeks? Months? Ongoing, perhaps with different instigation?!

  15. July 13, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    Ha! Tell L’il D your followers would disagree on that 😀

    That’s cool how that game is getting more people out and interacting!

    • July 15, 2016 at 8:29 pm

      I tried to tell him there’re at least a few dozen people who’d disagree, but he didn’t/wouldn’t believe me. :p

  16. July 14, 2016 at 9:37 am

    Oh, my, I love this post so much! And, oh, how awesome it is that Pokemon Go is getting people OUT!

    • July 15, 2016 at 8:29 pm

      I almost didn’t post it ’cause I thought there might be too much PokemonGo posting, but I’m glad I did! Love and misses!!!

  17. July 15, 2016 at 4:36 am

    I think I would protest, I find none of your sentences boring! ❤

    • July 15, 2016 at 8:30 pm

      I’m going to share this and Anxious Mom’s comments with him tomorrow. I’ll almost certainly have some kind of statement to report back afterward. 😉

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