Hiking With Number 2

Our family took a morning's reprieve and enjoyed what is most relaxing for my husband---a brisk nature hike in the Sandia foothills. As with many fine moments in our family, nobody remembered to bring a camera or camcorder to document the amusing insights and impressive feats that accompanied our family-of-five journey up the mountainside. The weather was perfect for just such an outing. Where we live every juniper, cactus, and piece of granite one might find off the beaten path looks different in various times of day. Clear skies, bright sunshine, and morning dew brought out the detail and deliciousness of the desert-scape. Our middlest took notice (as he is a multi-sensory, aesthetically-sensitive child). Unlike his older brother, he's not the fastest, or the most coordinated; but Number 2 is the most enthusiastic. Bless his heart, our little 3 yr. old is a walking affirmation junkie. Not only does he require that you affirm his revelations, he himself provides a running commentary on his own achievements through overcoming the great obstacles in his life--a patch of ice, a slew of rocks, doggie poo in the middle of the trail...he's proud of it all. Here's a snippet of today's trailside dialogue. No translation will be required for those of you who know our Number 2. No. 2: "W-ow! The wocks awound he-o awe sooo bea-u-tifo!"

Mama: "You are right...but watch where you are going. Keep your eyes on the trail."

No. 2: "Okay, mama, but did you see how pwetty evwee-fing is he-o?"

Mama: "I agree...now be careful flinging your arms around--keep your hands out in front of you in case you have to catch yourself."

No. 2: "I'm not faw-ing, or getting hwut! I'm just happy!"

Mama: "Good job--oh! watch out for the yucca!"

No. 2: "See, I didn't get poked by the pokey fing! I just go like this and bend he-o so I don't get poked. What is this caw-ed? (pointing to his sides)"

Mama: (In keeping with the spirit of honoring their daddy this morning...) "Oh, that's your latissimus dorsi."

No. 2: "Oh, yeah...my matissa morphi. That's what I bend, my matissa morphi. I go---wwhhhooooowwwweeeewwwhooossshhh--so I don't get poked by the wucca."

Mama: "That's great, sweetie. I'm so proud of you."