“I don’t want to drive back to the house, I want to walk.” Emilio stood in the driveway with his hands at his sides, declaring his four-year-old determination. Adrienne and Matt were going back to our house for a mid-afternoon rest from the busy cottage we rented on Jenness Pond last week for a big family vacation. Emilio wanted to go with his parents, but he was “sick of the long car ride” (3.3 miles, about 5 minutes) between the two houses. He wanted to walk.
“It’s really far, Bud,” Matt said. “Do you really want to walk that far?”
“Are you sure?”
“Okay,” I said. “I’ll walk with you.” We went in to the cottage to let everyone know where we were going. There were lots of questions. “Emilio is walking back to the house?” “Do you have a phone with you?” “Has he ever walked that far?”
David looked at Emilio’s feet. “Do you have some shoes with you? Sneakers? Some socks?”
“No,” Emilio said. “I’m wearing Crocs.” As if everyone takes the longest walk of their life so far in Crocs and of couse no one wears socks with Crocs.
Emilio took my hand and we started off with me telling Emilio about the walk across England David and I did three years ago. When I’d finished the story he asked if we were close to the house yet. “I’d have to tell about 20 more stories like that before we got to the house,” I said.
“Well, then tell me another story.”
Which I did. Then he told some stories, we stopped to look at the map on my phone so he could see where we were and where we were going, we walked through a rain shower that was mostly blocked by the canopy of trees above the road, he kept holding my hand and stepped off the road every time a car went by, we found a dead frog and poked at it with a stick, we walked up and down hills and looked at the other ponds we passed, we picked Queen Anne’s lace for him to give Adrienne when we got back to the house. Once, more than half way, he stopped and said his feet were tired and he needed to rest. About five seconds later, he started to walk again.
An hour and a half later, we reached the house. Over three miles by a four year old. As we walked in to the yard Emilio looked up at me.
“Was that a good walk for you, Mimi?”