My 11-day rest period got truncated to 9. I figured I should have at least one spin day before the TTT on Saturday, and that since the 11th day fell on the TTT itself, it would be bad form to simply not show up.
It’s funny how getting out of your bike routine causes things to happen that wouldn’t happen otherwise, generally because you have more time and more energy. I had finished work yesterday when suddenly a babysitting opportunity was thrust upon me. Sometimes the best way to babysit is to go with the flow. You end up learning stuff that way.
Rin-chan wanted to take a walk so I let him outside. He didn’t have any shoes and seemed to be in a hurry, so off we went. He walked down the stairs, slowly, one hand on the rail and one tiny hand clutching mine. Nothing makes you feel more protective than having a tiny, warm, soft hand in your old, wrinkled one.
It took a long time to get down the stairs, which isn’t surprising when you consider that the rise of each step was half his entire height. We got to the bottom and walked by the fountain. Rin-chan stopped and picked up some rocks. He threw the rocks into the fountain. He watched the splashes.
Splashes are interesting.
We walked down some more stairs and stopped by a bush. The bush had bright red berries. He knew from past experience that they tasted bad. He grabbed a few and walked down to the stream coursing out from the bottom of the fountain. Rin-chan threw the berries, one by one, into the stream and watched them float, bob, get caught in eddies, get forced upstream, swirl back down, get into another eddy, then pop under and have the current whisk them away forever.
This took a long time, and was also very interesting, and when it finished he went and got some more berries, one in each fist. But he didn’t throw them into the stream.
Next stop was the laundromat. When you go in, the light switches on automatically. That was interesting. There were also lint balls under the bench, which were interesting too, and fun to pick up and squish and pat.
Rin-chan then went out through the side gate, down the stone steps, and crossed the street. When he got to the other side he squatted and rolled a red berry down the gutter. The street was steep and the berry rolled quickly away. This was funny and worth laughing at, so much so that he followed that berry with the other one. It rolled away, too. He laughed some more.
Rolling red berries are interesting and funny. When is the last time you laughed at a red berry?
We walked for a while, down to Hawthorne, and along the sidewalk to Indian Peak, which is a busy intersection. All the backed up cars looked at his bare feet and people smiled. He tiptoed up to push the crosswalk button, and we dashed across. That was exciting. He tripped and fell, got back up, and dashed some more.
Sometimes tripping and falling is part of the process.
Our next stop was the Malaga Bank parking lot, where he found some trash and took it over to the trash can. Following that we walked down to the Pavilions, but before we got there he went into the Wells-Fargo, walked to the end and back, and then we went out, where there was a bench. He crawled up on the bench to take a break, and reached for me to come sit down, too.
So I did and we rested, even though it wasn’t the seventh day. Yet.
After a few minutes Rin-chan clambered down from the bench and went into the supermarket. We walked up the aisles and down the aisles. Everyone looked at his bare feet. Some people smiled but some people frowned. I felt sorry for the frowners.
We walked out of the supermarket and down the sidewalk to the next entrance. Rin-chan walked in and looked at himself on the surveillance camera. He was handsome. Then he spied the balloons and reached for one. The balloons were very interesting!
After a while he got tired and raised his arms in the air, which meant “Carry me.”
I put him on my shoulders. He was very heavy and we had to walk a long way, all of it uphill. After about five minutes my everything was aching. But perched on my shoulders was a warm bundle whose hands grabbed my ears and tufts of hair.
I don’t know if he was smiling, but I was.