Tuesday, September 27, 2011


When we are all a little stir-crazy and just need a little walk to restart our brains or spirits, we have a bikepath we can walk to that will take us to our garden or, in the other direction, across the river and to the farm.  It is lovely, tree-covered, leaf-littered - sometimes we see deer, usually we see dogs, and the occasional snake or toad. But this isn't about the path, it's about getting home. 

There is a large hill in the way.  It is a beautiful stretch of the walk, covered overhead with conifers, but still. It's a hill. On the way home.

One day, when it was just the two of us, I was trying to coax Ani up the hill. She has finally gotten too big for me to carry far, and the hill is out of the question, so...we hold hands. We tell jokes. We pause for a little hug of encouragement. On this particular day none of this was really working, so in a flash of inspiration, our own version of "leapfrog" was born!! 
It starts when one (crazy) person runs up-hill a piece, then stops and gives forth with their best amphibious call.
Ani, "doing" the eastern spadefoot
Now, we're not talking your run-of-the-mill "ribbet". We're talking eastern spadefoot toad. Wood frog.  Green frog.  Peepers. The real deal. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! MAAAAAaaaaaaaaw. MAAAAAaaaaaaaaw. P-doing! P-doing!  meep,meep,meep,meep...
The other person echoes the call back to them, both pausing to croak for a few seconds. Then the second person, the one lower on the hill, runs up and past the first person a good distance, and stops, giving their very best call. And on and on, repeated until the summit is reached and both participants have laughed their way up the hill without even noticing the work involved.
Genius, no?


Debbie said...

Hello, dear friend. I'm been gone so long I've almost forgot what the girls look like (well, not really. Could never forget such beauty). However, I'm catching up today - and yes...GENIUS. We've had to do this with Isaac at times too - be inventive, and create some play which relates to something he loves...so we can keep moving. It's brilliant. I've missed you and the girls. I'm now going to check out all the beauty I've missed out on here. Sending you all much love. ~Debbie

erin said...

i love settling into a creative rhythm where solutions come at the drop of a hat. i just came home from a lovely NVC parent gathering where the NVC speaker was talking about how when our needs are fully met, we are able to switch into both parts of our brain, the left and the right, (called integration) and that is where our well of creativity, strategizing, and solution arises from. wow! i had so many insights around that.
interestingly excercise can be a key to that integration, like you had on your walk. i know, too,i can solve problems by walking and thinking...anyways interesting stuff :)

saying "hi" from a mostly lurker, trying to be less shy:)

slim pickins said...

hi debbie! soooo nice to "see" you...

erin - that is interesting! i know i do some of my most creative thinking while walking, and some of the best conversations with my kids happen on our hikes, which is maybe why we do so much of that...!