Now that the weather’s getting a little nicer, the world’s least interesting parade is back in town.
Way up at the front, you’ll find the lanky ladies on bicycles, whirling around in circles to occasionally go back to the slower moving units in the procession.
In the middle, you’ll find the wonder girl and her scooter, flying down a sidewalk until she hits a bump, tumbles off for a moment, then gets back on and continues.
Way in the back, you’ll see the wild animals, a pair of big canines with their handlers struggling to keep them in check. One of those handlers may even be bent over to the ground, scooping up the remnants left behind when a wild animal decides it’s time to let loose, like those guys with the scoops behind horses.
I speak of my family’s assorted efforts to go for a “walk” in the evenings after we return from work. And in this scenario, my wife and are those handlers of the wild canines.
Walking is often held up as a good way to get exercise. The rule of thumb is walking a mile burns around 100 calories, depending on your weight. Unfortunately, my body appears to consume 100 calories just by smelling a steak grilling in our neighborhood, so I’m not sure I’m getting the weight-loss benefits of our activity.
Still, it sounds nice when my wife asks if I’d like to go for a walk with her. I dream about those carefree days when we were dating. We’d blissfully hold hands and move at our own pace, walking and talking about anything that crossed our minds.
Nowadays, that peaceful coexistence is challenged by the other members of our household on parade.
Sometimes the teen girls on bikes will taunt the 7-year-old on her scooter, requiring my big dad voice to tell them to leave her alone from a few hundred feet away. They remind me of the clowns who ride around in little scooters and bikes in a parade, taunting the crowds and one another.
Sometimes the dogs just don’t want to behave, barking like mad at the other dogs along our route, trying to yank our shoulders out of joint as we walk. I think of all the firetrucks in a parade, blasting their sirens and horns back and forth.
Sometimes we have to pull our parade a little closer together, when we get split too far apart and can barely see one another on the path. We often tell our youngest never to go farther than two driveways ahead of us. It reminds me of what happens when an errant train interrupts a joyful march down the street.
These are the members of our merry band, though, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.
David Trinko is managing editor of The Lima News, a division of AIM Media Midwest. Reach him at 567-242-0467, by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @Lima_Trinko.