Walking Home

A much younger boy walking home

Today I took my son to the ballet to see Don Quixote. As is typical for the PNB, it was a terrific performance with costumes and sets so spectacular that they drew an audible “oooo” from the audience. We took the bus, as we usually do when we go to Seattle Center. You can’t ask for much better service than Bus 30 offers from lower Wallingford to Seattle Center. It’s practically a taxi.

But the way home is never so smooth. Inevitably the performance lets out about 2 minutes after the bus has left the stop. Which means a 28 minute wait for the next bus. Today, despite it being the late afternoon in February, the weather was amenable and we decided to walk to a different bus route, one with more frequent service.

During the 10ish minute walk to Dexter Street, my son declared that he knew the way from here and would prefer to just walk home. I managed to talk him out of that plan, given that my “fancy” shoes were already bothering my feet. But I did agree to walk home with him from Fremont via the Troll. So, we disembarked the bus in front of Dusty Strings and made the most of the late afternoon sun.

I was shocked at the spring in his step and the ease of the walk home. Could this be the same kid that I drag seven bocks uphill to school each morning, and who grumbles seven blocks downhill, slumped under the mental weight of his backpack on the way home?

We passed a Persian Rug Store, which led us to discuss flying carpets and how novel those must have seemed in the days before airplanes. We stopped to climb the troll and to study the scaffolding being built under the Aurora Bridge for some purpose unknown to us. We passed a man and his very excited small dog, pausing to let it jump on our shins. We noticed a house with chickens and ducks kept in adjacent pens, and wondered why they weren’t all housed together. After a block of silence, my son informed me that Mt. Rainier is made entirely of farts, and that it grows taller each time one of us lets loose. I never can tell what is going on in his over-sized head.

I had used that same block of silence to reminisce about the PKE (Pre-Kid Era) when Dave and I used to walk to and from Fremont just for something to do on the weekend. Today I felt the slightest little whisper of hope that those days aren’t gone forever.

Though I doubt we will make it to Fremont and back without at least one fart conversation for at least a few more years.


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