Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sun Dog Day

My older son came home the other day with some homework.  He was supposed to come up with an example of a simile and a metaphor.  Having spent the past 10 years as a stay-at-home dad, and the previous 20 being devoted to engineering and computers, I asked him what the difference is.  If I'm going to blog, I should probably know these things.  I'm still a little unclear, but I think I bumped into one yesterday.

Intrepid explorer
Ben likes to go "walkabout".  Even when it's well below freezing and the inversion has us in a red air alert.  Personally, I find it a good deal more fun when the weather is warm and breathing isn't bad for you.

There are always things to do...bills to pay, dishes to wash, Utah legislature tweets to read.  Walks mean a lot to Ben though -- he finds it calming, works his large motor skills, and he usually sleeps better (not this morning though).

Walking isn't really the best way to describe it -- it's more like running an obstacle course or an episode of Wipeout.  He climbs on walls and traverses them like a balance beam,  scrambles up snowbanks, stomps on icy puddles, slides across patches of ice.  Sometimes he says, "hold my hand" when he's going to do something tricky.  Sometimes he runs full tilt down a hill, knowing that I'll help him slow down at the bottom.

If you lost this, msg me.
I don't catch him every time he falls, and sometimes there's a skinned knee or a bloody nose.  I keep him away from cars and dogs and generally try to make sure he's not doing anything life-threatening.  I try to guide him a little so that our path will wind up back home in a reasonable time.  Sometimes I carry him on my shoulders...even when there's been a potty mishap.

We wind up exploring parts of our neighborhood that others don't usually see.  We go through the alleyways, the parking lots, and the stairs that have been blocked by snow for 2 months.  We sometimes find things...so far that's included an ipod, an antique turquoise and silver ring, and yesterday, an avalanche shovel.

Not really a sun dog. (photo from redditor Gonzok)
We also saw my very first "sun dog" (or this, but "sun dog" is a cooler name).  I thought, "Here I am, creeping up on 50 years old, and there's something new.  What the heck is that?"

I don't know where our journey with Ben is going to lead us.  Our path is going to be different from most.  I expect that it will sometimes be hard, but there are new things to discover and we will find them together.  Metaphor, right?

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