With the Valley so pleasant in the spring, combined with an attempt to stay healthy, wealthy and wise (we've succeeded on the healthy front, so far) Stink, Pip and I have established evening walks. Sometimes I push them in the double stroller (which always results in a stop at Arcos for a free lollypop from Albert). Sometimes Stink pushes Pip in the umbrella stroller, feeling like a little big man as he points out "the baaaaaad cars on Plumo" (a busy street) and the "agua suicia" (dirty water in the L.A. River that runs through our intersection) or "the yellow ball some little boy lost in the water... he's sad... but his mommy is going to buy him a new one!" (moss infested volleyball that will remain a fixture in the basin until the next big rain finds it a new home).
On this particular adventure, the kids held hands as we traversed up and down our little cul de sac and adjoining block. We moved slow, to say the least, but I was filled with peace (remarkable for me) as I inhaled the jasmine and marveled at my fortune to live in such a 1950's charmer neighborhood. I know all my neighbors. I even like them. I've had dinners dropped off at my door. My regular babysitter is a CPR trained honor student that lives directly across the street. As moms go, I hit the motherload.
Throughout our stroll, Stink reminded Pip that we don't walk in the street. They counted stepping stones (jumped over different neighbors' pebbled walk ways) and talked about the people they love - in Stink's case, his friend Toddler B. When I asked him "Is Toddler B your best friend?" he looked quite shocked and replied "Nooooo... Pipsqueak!"
Then today at the post office, a random man approached me in the parking lot as I was loading up the kids. I dug in my heels for the inevitable insult as he started in. Man: "I saw that pile of pretzels your kid dropped near the stamp machine." Me: "Yeah, I know..." Man: "Making your kid pick them up? Brilliant. It's not easy molding savages into little humans that we can tolerate, and I had to tell you how nicely you're doing."
I am rarely speechless, but between Stink's comment about his love for his sister, and this random geezer giving me props, all I could muster on both fronts was a meek "thank you."
Sometimes it's just all so worth it. (I'll find something tomorrow to bitch about)