Monday, July 13, 2009

Black Gold

“Mom! Mom! Are you awake? Mom! Remember you said I could go running with you this morning?”

It was almost 9 a.m. and I had no business sleeping that late but that was really not how I wanted to wake up. Michael Jr. was a young man on a mission. Okay, okay.

At the end of the driveway I started out and he quickly ran ahead. He looked back and asked why I was so slow. I laughed; I knew he couldn’t last at that pace. And he didn’t. I don’t think he even made it to the first corner. He wanted to turn around and go home after that but I figured since he was so gung ho to run, we were going to run. It was mostly walking on his part but he made it to the stop sign at 133rd and back (a mile each way).

I knew from the start that it wasn’t going to be easy for him but thought it was kind of neat that he wanted to give it a go. The hard part is helping him find the motivation to do it again tomorrow when his legs might be a little sore and his memory still sharp. Sure, it was hard for him but I told him that wasn’t a permanent condition. Every day it will get easier. He’ll get farther without stopping. I think even at my age that can be a hard concept to put into action. I mean we know it’s true but forcing ourselves to do things that are painful or boring or difficult is the not so fun part of becoming/being a grown up. It requires the ability to see around corners; to predict what the results of our actions will be and then acting accordingly. But living in the moment is so much more fun . . . in the moment. I guess that’s just where kids are.

As I jogged (slowly!) this morning I kept my eyes peeled for red and black berries that ought to have been visible right about now. Nothing. While Maria was here yesterday we talked about going out to pick black raspberries. We’ve done it before when she’s been out here in the summer but it’s sort of hit and miss. These aren’t the massive Himalayan blackberries (with equally massive, awful seeds) that blanket this area and ripen sometime in maybe August or September. These are tiny little things we call black caps that grow on vines running low across the ground in areas that have been clear cut. It takes serious effort (and a bit of luck) to get enough to make anything.

Maria had hopes of making a pie to bring to a gathering of friends tonight so I checked out the area we picked last and found a few. It didn’t look real promising but a quick text and she was on her way. I started before she arrived and by the time she was there I’d found quite a few. We picked and picked and picked and I think we came up with enough for that pie. Mmmm I hope I can find more by the end of the week so I can make one too!
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