Saturday afternoon Tucker the Beagle brought the gang by my house for an early Father’s Day dinner and, as these things go, there were multiple shenanigans.
He played. He ran. He stole stuff. He bit into a ball which deflated. He chased a broom. He chased my teenagers. He chased me. But mostly, he wanted to be chased.
I had my sandals on. They have a cork platform. I bought them on Amazon during the summer of lockdown two years ago because nothing was open and I needed summer shoes. They are ultra comfortable and stylish.
But they are not made for playing with beagles. 🙄
The backyard has a slight incline and the ground is uneven and… Well I tripped. I should have taken my shoes off before running around.
I’m fine. I have a slight, relatively mild sprain on my right foot. It’s awkward rather than painful. It also adds to the rest of my collection of minor but annoying injuries.
The cut on my right thumb is healing but still visible. The bandaid is off now.
The splinter under my right index fingernail is gone. It got infected, some pus seeped out, I cleaned it with an alcohol-sterilized needle and I’m currently typing these words into my phone with said index finger and not wincing in pain. 🎉
The deep cut on my left index finger, which happened two days ago and was healing nicely, began bleeding again. It happened when I tied my running shoes to walk Tucker and teens to the park and somehow that action re-opened the wound and bled through my double bandaid.
I’m skilled and talented at being a delicate flower, thank you for noticing. 😀 🌸🌼🌺😐
I’m fine. I’m always fine. In fact, the walk to the park was so fun, the three of us with the dog, I will rewire my brain to make that memory the most prominent in my subconscious so that next time, when things happen that make me sad or disappointed or worried or upset or irritated I will have no choice but to draw on the most dominant memory stored away, which is Tucker and my kids at the park.
Let me tell you about it.
Fun and silliness at the park
While I bled to death tying my shoes, I asked my son if he wanted to come walk Tucker with me.
I expected that answer and respected it.
Next, I asked the teen girl. She said “I’m tired”. I shrugged my shoulders and went to bandage my finger for the umpteenth time.
When I came down to the front hall, they were all there: son tying his shoes, Tucker harnessed and leashed, daughter holding the leash.
Seems we’re all going to the park. 🥰
We left dad and grandma to sit and chat and off we went on the tug fest with a very agitated but exorbitantly excited beagle pup who strained the leash and almost pulled our arms out of our sockets. 🥴
We took turns holding him.
The park is two minutes away, behind the old age residence that used to be a public school. There is a large public tennis court, a playground with swings and slides, a small pad with a basketball net, a soccer field, a peewee sized baseball diamond and trees and bushes peppered around the field.
The tennis court is gated and was empty. We all thought the the same thing at the same time. One kid went in to check the gate at the far end while I closed the gate we used to enter behind us. The other kid went looking for lost tennis balls we could use to play with Tucker.
Unsurprisingly, Tucker was ecstatic.
He and Sonja started running among the three nets and he barked at her when he couldn’t catch her. She kept changing direction on him. 😀
Meanwhile, I went out again and collected some sticks to throw. A storm had gone through a day or so ago with high winds, and the park was littered with broken branches. I threw some over the tall fence and for the next 20 minutes, we played fetch with Tucker.
Sonja teased him behind the net which Tucker couldn’t figure out how to get over, or under. He barked and whined and made a lot of noise which attracted the attention of other dog walkers.
No pictures… I left my phone at home because at least one kid doesn’t like it when I snap photos all the time. All the more reason to capture these memories in words, right? 😍
When Tucker ran out of steam, Sonja announced she wanted to go on the swings. So we exited the tennis court and walked over to the mulch-filled playground. It too was empty.
There were five swings: two regular ones, two baby ones and one that looked like an infant car seat.
I’m sure you can guess what my resourceful teens planned next. 😂
Tucker wasn’t thrilled with the swing so we aborted that mission while Sonja went to swing by herself. Her brother joined her and that moment brought me back a flash of nostalgic memories of years gone by. Seeing them swing side by side like that… How many hours have I spent with those two in various playgrounds for the better part of a decade?
It’s better there aren’t any pictures, because teenagers. 😉
While they were swinging, Tucker tugged me toward the playground. Don’t ask me what happened or how, but we ended up at the top of the structure next to the short straight slide somehow. Sonja saw it first even though she was furthest away. She ran over and stood, phone in hand, at the bottom of the slide.
“Come on, puppy!” she encouraged the wayward, excited, mischievous dog.
Tucker really, really wanted to slide down. But it was high for him and weird and new and he just didn’t know if he should take the leap of faith.
By now, my son was beside his sister, ready to film the extravaganza. 🙃
Omg. There was so much activity and yelling and laughing, I don’t even remember the sequence of events. At one point my son wanted to force him down and I reminded him how apprehensive he was as a young boy when he had to take swimming lessons.
“Would you have wanted to be forced into the water?” I asked him. “Tucker is almost ready, just keep encouraging him.”
It worked. Tucker slid down, the kids filmed him, and then he repeated it twice more with less apprehension but no less fun. Although I’m not sure what exactly Tucker thought about this event, he had a very puzzled expression on his face… But we followed his lead and let him ride down the slide.
At the far end of the play structure was a curvy slide, which turned into a whole big, elaborate thing to try and get Tucker down. Sonja called him from the bottom but Tucker couldn’t see her and got very animated, whining and looking for her. My son noticed and came up and offered to slide down with the dog on his lap. Long and complicated story short, it only worked partially, meaning Tucker leaped off my boy’s lap halfway down the first curve. 🤣
This dog has so much boundless energy, it was infectious. But, after a while, he wanted to sniff things and I figured he had to do some beagle business, so we let him wander around the broken tree branches and eventually cleaned up after him before returning home. The kids had tiramisu in a cup, I had wine, and the dog went searching for skunks and rabbits in the backyard.
I don’t know if he was tired after all that but figured correctly that later, and the next day (today), he would crash.
Which he did. I got two photos texted to me this morning with a very tired looking, almost 2 year old Beagle lying in various positions on comfy furniture.
I bet the teens are tired too. It is my genuine hope that they will remember this afternoon as one of the highlights of their adolescence. I’m the first to admit that I struggle, a lot, with teen behaviour. I take things way too personally, but my excuse is I want to connect with them and at least one kid rejects this connection at this time. I tell myself later, when they return home with their dad, that this is a phase, and what’s more, a typical phase, and I should just let it go.
I have trouble letting it go.
Which brings me back to typing these words. I enjoy sharing these glimpses and although I leave certain things out, I hope that this little story is vivid enough in wordy imagery that it provides help to people who struggle with their own teens, especially when it comes to connecting with them. We need to step back and let them disconnect; it’s an important step that should not be taken personally by moms (and dads) and really has very little to do with us parents.
So there you go. Thank you for stopping by and reading my post. Happy Father’s Day to those of you who celebrate today!
See you in the comments.