One morning on our walk, Daisy turned zig-zaggy. Zig, zag, zig, zag and then a nice zag, zig, just to keep things interesting. Yeah. Then she zigged when I zagged, and I went flying … and wow, somehow managed to somersault and save myself. I know, right?
Theresa, my BFF and former Rhythmic Gymnastics buddy, would have been so proud. She's still in top form, but it's been a few decades since I somersaulted on purpose. All this I considered whilst lying on my back staring at the cold blue sky.
Puppies aren't for sissies! I'd have cried, too, were it not for having to finish Daisy's walk and get to work, so I got up (a concerned Daisy "helped"), dusted myself off, marveled I'd not broken my backside, and almost indulged the impulse to salute the judges.
Seriously, I recall that as I rolled – everything suddenly in slow-mo – I practically laughed out loud. How 'bout that? I've still got it. A little sore, but yeah.
Then last week, after it snowed, I tried to rally the troops with my cheeriest voice.
"Come on, guys, let's get out there and shovel. Pull the cars out, clean 'em off, clean the driveway, and don't forget about the front walkway, too, so the letter carrier can deliver the mail, OK?"
This particular snowfall wasn't huge, but shoveling needed to be done, nonetheless. I may even have promised hot chocolate, but Noah wasn't game.
"My back hurts," he said.
Oh, I know a thing or two about sore backs (surviving my latest feat being something of a miracle). "Dude, I just watched you dead lift over 500 pounds," I said of a recent competition a few weeks ago. "I think you can pick up a shovel. Come on, love," I added, trying to keep it light.
Failing that, I may have said a few other things, too. Parenting adult children isn't for sissies, either, as it happens. Wait, that can't be it. Parenting? No, that's not what this is. Coexisting?
Hmm … So whaddya call this strange, acid-green colored (you know, the way the sky looks before a tornado?) no man's land between a kid's childhood and his real adulthood, anyway? It's a delicate dance (and hey, it's no waltz), but I'm still game – and if you ask me (ha ha, no one has), it may not always be pretty (parenting never is, kids), but I've still got it.
And it's a good thing, too, cuz on top of my two in-betweeners (Holly's a legal adult in mere weeks), here comes little Daisy, with not one but two toys in her mouth. While the kids commence with their shoveling, I get my game face on, grab a few tennis balls, and keep Miss Daisy running – which means I keep running, too. The longer I keep all of the balls in the air, the better, right?
Jennifer DuBose lives in Batavia with her family. Her column runs regularly in the Kane Weekend section of the Kane County Chronicle. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.