Not too long ago I was making my rounds through the house before going to bed--checking the locks and windows, tucking the kids in before turning in for the night--when I saw Andrew standing at the girls' bedroom window. I approached him to see what he was looking at and there, down below in the dusky light of a late summer evening where the street light had just clicked on was a figure.
It was Cain and he was running. We watched for a few minutes as he ran down the length of the cul de sac, circled the end, ran back up the opposite side of the street and past his house. What was he doing?
It appeared that he had a blanket tied around his waist and it flared out behind him as he ran like a mini Superman and Andrew said, "He's been running around the cul de sac. He goes down one side, around the circle then back up the other side to his house. I think he's on his third lap."
"Why?" I asked.
"The kids said that when he gets in trouble Cain has to run laps in the cul de sac." Andrew shrugged, " He must have got in trouble."
"What??" I said, shocked.
I watched him run and my mind started examining the situation from different angles. Was this cruel and unusual punishment? Child abuse? A bad idea? Andrew, with a runner's admiration, interrupted my thoughts by saying with amazement, "Look at him run, he's not even cutting corners!"
And it was true, he hugged the curb tightly with each stride and never indicated any inclination to fudge things, not even a tiny bit. After a few more minutes I settled the issue with myself by saying, "Well, I guess it's not really a bad thing--in fact, it kind of makes more sense than sticking a kid in a time out or giving them a silly talking to. At least he's working off his energy in a beneficial way." I mean, aside from the fact that it was 10:30pm and he should be in bed I found nothing terribly wrong after I thought about it.
Unusual, but certainly not wrong. There's a big difference. I tucked the sleeping girls in and shut the door. Fifty years from now I'm going to be reading the paper and there will be Cain's name as the latest Nobel laureate--nothing would surprise me. A few minutes later I came back to see if he was still at it but the cul de sac was empty.
Technorati tags: Alaska, parenting, motherhood
Monday, September 10, 2007