Summer bliss. No school. The one child left at home is gone for the week. I lay in bed thinking about getting up, but why? There is nothing I absolutely have to do. I don’t have to move an inch. I don’t even have to get dressed.
My quiet solitude is interrupted by the phone. I answer, relieved to hear an automated call. I hang up. I settle back down when the phone rings again. I eye it then lazily pick it up to find out who the annoying caller is. My neighbor. I answer. I’m not sure why.
“Kate, want to go for a walk today?” The little girl voice begs me across the phone line from half a mile away.
I hesitate. The bed feels so good and the fan has just the right whirr to put me back to sleep. I am in total summertime bliss. Why would I want to go for a walk?
I could easily say no but a second of insanity tears me away from my nice cozy bed. I’m less than enthusiastic but the weather is nice, especially for July. It is a perfect time to walk.
Reggie begins his doggie-routine. It starts with me putting on my socks and shoes. Okay, truthfully it starts when he sees me getting dressed in something other than pj’s. When he sees the shoes he goes into hysterics and then when I say, “Wanna go for a walk?” you’d think I asked if he wanted to go to a steak house. He barks and runs around in circles. I grab the leash and tell him to, “Sit.” I hook him up and off we go.
I start off at a nice pace with Reggie beside me lagging along at times to do his ‘business’ in the grass. After a bit I notice my legs get tired and I lag and Regg pulls at his leash and keeps me walking as we trudge up the hill. And then Reggie barks and pulls at the leash even more – he has spotted the body that belongs to the little girl’s voice.
Emi’s bike flies down the hill until she reaches me. I stop and give myself a little break while she parks in the ditch.
“Did you bring some water, Kate?”
“No,” I say, not too nicely because I was already regretting it.
“Yes, Emi, it’s called old age. One of these days you’ll be old.”
She giggles and punches me in the arm.
As I push my sorry body up the hill that looks like Mt. Everest, I pant and sweat drips everywhere. I grunt answers to let my young friend know that I’m listening as she entertains me with her endless chatter.
I make it and I’m finally able to keep up my part of a conversation and even start one of my own. “Em, do you get tired of walking with me?”
She looks up and smiles, “No, I like it. It’s just you and me.”
I don’t doubt that answer. Her house is full of kids and she’s the oldest. I can relate. I’m the oldest of four. “Well,” I tell her, “I’m bored. How could we make this walk more fun?”
I watch Em as she thinks about my question.
“I know,” she says, “our walk would be more fun if we rode our bikes!”
“Oh good one, Emi, ha ha. Try again.”
“How about you be Super Kate? You have supersonic wheels on your feet and a pet, Robo Dog. I can be ummm…” Emi stops to think of her super power alter ego.
“I got it. You can be my loyal and trusty side-kick, Em the Coolest.”
“Well, it’s not the most original –“
I stop her, “And Super Kate is?” We laugh. Then I get a call on my special super power phone. “Super Kate here… She’ll be right there. Em the Coolest, better strap on your solar-powered jet pack. Time to go home.”
“Kate, tomorrow you can borrow my jet pack to get you up that killer hill faster.”
Em the Coolest gets on her bike and pedals uphill in record time. I’m sure I see smoke rolling from the jetpack. I, of course, put on my invisible wheels and coast all the way home. I’m feeling so good I even breeze right past. My husband watches me from the porch. I smile, wave, then call out to him, “You can call me, Super Kate.”
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