October 23, 2009
Just before dusk
Little Biker Boy, the eight-year-old neighbor boy, can be a difficult child. He’s got deep pockets of rage – and he’s had some terrible role models. Because he comes from a very different household, it’s hard for him to learn the rules of my household, rules that I haven’t often articulated because they seem like common sense to me. “No, you can’t bang on the piano with your elbows.”
But outside, on a walk at Pretty Colour Lakes, he is easier to handle. He can run and yell and kick logs — and his behavior won’t bother anyone. He can throw rocks into the lake, and no one gets hurt. He can be as loud as he want because the trees and sky will just swallow the noise.
Always, he tires himself out fairly quickly, and then he settles down and walks around the lake with my husband and me. He’ll point to rocks and squirrels, pick up acorns, and scream with delight when he sees something cool. As we circle the lake, tramping along the mulch paths lined by cedar trees, I can feel the stress seeping from his body. At the lake he can be – simply – an eight-year-old boy enjoying a fall afternoon. By the time we get back to the beach, to the parking lot and the car, he’s so relaxed that he’s ready to take a nap way home, even though it’s just a few minutes.
Posted by jo(e)