This morning I hugged the pillow till after 8am, which is late for a father of two. I enjoyed those final moments in bed, while lisa entertained both Dean and Grant. When I finally rose out of bed Lisa went out with the dogs and I stirred some coffee and loaded Grant in the backpack and finished dressing Dean for school. When we left for school it was a pleasure to have Grant on my back rather than the dogs at my side, this left my hands free to carry my second cup of coffee along with me as I walked Dean the three blocks to his pre-K at Rosemount Center. Dean traded his bicycle for his scooter this am, I did not object.
Once at "art class" I was mobbed by all of Dean's fellow students. They were all asking to be chased around the room then they noticed Grant....the crowed gathered. Crowd control mode stepped in as I tried to keep all the germ covered hands off my venerable seven month old son. Rather than aggravate the teachers with my usual routine of rilling up the kids and then evacuating I opted to read to the children. Freddy had a BATMAN book and Dean wanted. I felt that my reading it to the class was a good compromise. The children all gathered in an orderly fashion in a semi-circle as I sat my monsters size body in the child size chair. Everyone behaved miraculously well as I went from reading the book to ad-libbing the text to move things along faster. There was no complaint. After finishing the BATMAN book the kids were asking for more, one of the students had a TOY STORY book that I had to bargain to get my hands on. Upon opening the book I was amused to see that I was reading to the class in Spanish, the teachers were impressed by my ability to read the rudimentary Spanish to the children. The children all enjoyed themselves and I felt as if Dean was proud to have me as a father. As I went for a third book, Eleanor halted my progress and told me that it was time for them to hit the playground before a field trip to the new location of the school. I could not argue with a trip outside. So I loaded Grant on my back and headed for the door. Said my Good-byes to the kids and a special good bye to my son and headed out the door.
What a great way to start my day!
Once home I responded to my pager. Work was calling me in early. My hopes to do some riding before work had been dashed. I loaded up my pack with clothing for the day, left over Chicken Curry for lunch, and some dog biscuits and some dog food for the homeless guy with a dog in front of the McDonalds down the block from my office. Mounted the bike and guided my route a few blocks longer than usual to work.
I pointed the rigid single speed towards Malcom X Park (Meridian Hill) and took in some of the sights and sounds of the city. It is a glorious park with a long stretch of cascading water falls and artful steps. It was a rocking horse ride down the long stretch of stairs, a tad brutal on the body, yet a pleasure just the same. I passed children playing, people walking their dogs, and homeless people sleeping, and a man with what appeared to be his day's paper work sorted out on the sidewalk in front of him. Just as I was thinking that we need to take Dean and Grant to hang in this glorious park I got a whiff of some shit; human shit. The smell got stronger, then right in front of me was a large cow pie....pray for rain or a park service attendant to clean that shit up....it was rank.
I rolled out of the park back onto the street. Headed for the McDonalds on M Street to hand off the dog food, found the homeless man in front of the CVS on the next block. Had a pleasant exchange. The dog was reluctant to eat the food, but the owner was grateful. We talked and I told him I would bring him some clothing that I did not need. Although I hate to enable the behavior of the homeless, I also realize that not everyone has been given the same opportunities and guidance that I have been given. Life is hard for everyone, even for those as lucky as my family...I can not imagine how hard life is for this homeless man and his family.