Short End of the Day Hike in Rock Creek Park with the boys and the dog...

taking advantage of daylights savings time after work
trying to make good use of my time on the days when I pick the boys up from school

always have to walk the dog
gotta walk the mutt in the morning
gotta walk the mutt in the evening
so why not walk the boys and the dog at the same time

we can all use the time outside
we can spend some time together
there is no need to rush home to the walled world where we all go straight for our screens
there is more to life than our screens

last week we did a stretch of trail on the Glover Archebald Trail over by AU Park\Glover Park
it is fun to get the kids on some trails that they are less familiar with 
it is hard to find some trail in Rock Creek Park that they have not explored at once stage of their life or another

baby bjorn to backpack 
toddler zombie walk morphed quickly into full speed running
hikes involved running, scrambling, climbing, jumping, and exploring
to now... the less frequent hike because of life and its responsibilities
homework, soccer, karate, after school activities, friends, and the boys desire to spend their time doing other things... things of their choice
other things like screens
screen is very big in kids world today
so these hikes are often forced

it was cold out and we were going to go hiking 
no discussion
no deviation from the plan
we were going for a hike... but I would not make it a painful forced march
I would try to make it fun for them 

it was cold... almost a bite to it
but with proper gear we should be fine

I thought going for a hike was a good plan
so I pedaled straight home from work to get the car so I could drive across town to get Grant from aftercare
the pedal home would be short.. it would not constitute a bike ride... it would not constitute exercise
just need to get home to get the car to get Grant from school
middle school age Dean is able to get himself to and from school on his own 

the pedal home is short and to the point

I got home and changed out of bicycle commuter gear and into street clothes
Dean was already home from school... the dining room table had the looks as if lots of homework had been done... lots of books opened to specific pages with a variety of spiral note books accompanying each text book
before rushing out with the dog I asked Dean where he was at with his homework
he said he was done... so I asked him if he wanted to go for a hike with the dog
he did... so we grabbed our jackets and got in the car

upon picking up Grant I could sense he was in a mood
there was very little exchange between us
just a short hello
the answers to my questions were short so I asked no more questions

yes... it was cold
it was cold and windy
the boys were troopers
there was not much fight

sure Grant was in a bit of a mood
there was a little dragging of the feet
and yes... there was the pretending to be asleep when I parked the car
and yes... when I said run there was some complaint about a twisted ankle
but I got Grant moving forward

tried to give them some independence
told them a meeting point thinking that they knew how to get there
apparently the boys did not know how to get there
when I got to the discussed meeting point they were no where to be seen
I checked around... I called out
I looked at the sun and wondered what direction they could have gone 

and then I tried to figure how much sun was left to the day
I stared to back track
questioning if they went further
had they known they were lost and already back tracked to the car?

what direction would I guess to look for them
I went up and back and then in one direction then pointed back
there were a variety of trails all pointing in opposite directions
I had my phone... but I knew that it is not Dean's style to carry his

so I walked
I whistled and shouted
not panicked... but trying to make contact
not knowing if they would be near or far
not knowing what the logic of a child would dictate for them

not far ahead of me just within view I saw the boys
then I heard them call out from me
they were on the trail that leads to the car

Lost in the Supermarket 

it gave me pleasure that I had kept my cool
although I was frustrated with the boys
there was no need to get angry
often I get frustrated... the panic... the physical expenditure... and the parental fear of where is my child
it all adds up to accelerate my heart rate

we reconnected... I asked their logic
said... oh.... I thought you would be able to find it
it is this way... stay to the right... oh... that is the trail you went down... next time remember to stay right
the light was disappearing... but it was not quite getting dark
we got to stretch or legs and explore the trails of Rock Creek Park
then we got to celebrate with fajitas at Cactus Cantina in Cleveland Park

the boys enjoyed their short hike and their adventure in Rock Creek Park

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