Took the kid up into the Boston mountains yesterday, so she and mr. delagar could take pictures of rocks: it was the first sunny day we've had in a bit, and also I am in the tiny break between summer sessions, so everything was copacetic.
Not too many people in the park, ether, despite it being the week of the 4th. Maybe the fierce heat had something to do with that, or maybe it's the $4.00/gallon gasoline. Whichever -- it was a nice climb. We took Yellow Rock trail, not the other trail, with the caves and the waterfalls, which is more exciting, but in very bad repair these days. Both were built by the CCC, and both, despite the eforts of local volnteer groups, haven't survived the milleneum well.
My new glasses (first new ones I've been able to afford in three years) are spectacular (heh, little pun there), btw: I kept spotting lizards and cool mushrooms, and scuttling spiders to point out to mr. delagar and the kid.
The kid, who is taller by the minute these days since we took her off corn syrup and she started eating and thus growing, was running ahead and leaping from rock to rock. This made mr. delagar edgy, but I wouldn't let him tell her to stop. Eventually, inevitably, she fell and whacked her knee on a rock. Wails. Tears. I picked her up and blew on it.
"And what have lesson have you learned?" mr delagar asked.
Through her tears, she squinted at him: "Jump more carefully?"
(Here's the thing: she wasn't being naive: she was being a smart-ass, as she revealed to me ten minutes later, on the peak of Yellow Rock, taking my hand and giving me a sideways look. "Was that funny?" she asked me. "When I said, jump more carefully to Daddy?")
At the time, I tucked down my amusement, told her it wasn't broken, and agreed with her that was a fine lesson to learn. "Jump more carefully," I said. "You have to eat a peck of dirt before you die, and fall down a hundred times before you grow up."
"What?" she demanded. "What? That's not true. Is it? Is that true? Daddy, is that true? Is that true, Mama?"
"It's a rule," I told her solemnly, "it must be true."
"A peck of dirt? Fall down -- I've already fallen down a million times! On trampolines, and -- that's not true!"
"Trampolines don't count," I said, rolling my eyes. "Fall down so you hurt yourself. Obviously!"
She hesitated. Then she said, "A peck of dirt? You have to eat -- what do you mean?"
"You know when you pick up a piece of candy after the five second rule? What do you think is on it?" I shrugged.
We walked along the trail a moment. She was scowling. Then she ran ahead to demand of mr. delagar. "Have you fallen down a hundred times? Have you?"
"I fell down so many times," he said, and started relating some of them. This was not what she wanted to hear. She came running back to me.
"What if I don't fall down a hundred times? Do I not grow up? And Grandma! She's still falling down! Is she not grown up?"
"Excellent point," I agreed.
She walked along, frowning. "Eat a peck of a dirt before you -- what if I don't eat a peck? Will I not die?"
"I'm just telling you the--"
"If I stop eating candy off the floor," she said, "I can live forever?"
"Huh," I said.
She shot me a very stern look. "These are just folk sayings," she informed me. "They aren't true at all."
Then she ran ahead and began leaping from rock to rock again.