I sat on the bench at one corner of the yard…and my children ran.
They ran from the bench to the opposite corner, where the arbor and the gate are. Alex mostly. He ran back and forth a couple of times and when he was near me, I told him "Alex, you run fast."
And he told me "Mommy, I run SUPERFAST!" And I said, "Yes, you do!"
And he said – "Because I run like this – " and he grimaced fiercely and tucked his head down, clenched his tiny fists, and pumped his arms back and forth like he was throwing punches at some hapless torso.
I nodded and agreed that that would help him to run fast. And off he went…head down, arms pumping.
Julia didn’t run with the same sense of purpose. Instead, she would follow him halfway across the yard, by which time he was at the arbor, and then when he turned and started to run back, she would look at me with a look of mock terror on her face, and run at me, hollering "Alex get me!" and crashing against my legs just before Alex arrived and crashed against her.
It went on like this a little, and yes, I should have had my camera outside.
Eventually Julia followed Alex all the way to the other corner of the yard and back, but it’s a lot more running for her little legs than it is for his, and so she stopped after a few laps.
She hung out near the pool, scooping water out with her little green watering can and dumping the water onto the tomato plants.
Alex came running back toward me again. And, being a 4 year old boy, he is occasionally distracted. And so sometimes he will run or walk in one direction, but look somewhere else.
In the middle of the yard, a little off to the side of his back and forth path, was a little red wheelbarrow. A plastic kids’ wheelbarrow…I think my sister gave it to Alex for his birthday a year or two ago. Julia plays with it more than Alex does at this point.
And Alex was running.
Something off near the driveway had caught his attention, and as he ran he looked off somewhere in the vicinity of the neighbor’s roof.
Right into the wheelbarrow. It was a perfect fall, actually. He hit it just below the knee and flew forward, arms and face onto the grass.
I admit it – I laughed. But really fast, and quiet, so he wouldn’t know. And then I went to check him for injuries (none) and soothe the wounded ego (moderate) and encourage him to just move the wheelbarrow to the side and keep running. Which he did.
Arms pumping, face contorted in a grimace, running SUPERFAST.
And eyes front.