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Taking a walk
Last night I went for a walk in the neighborhood with my 13 year old grandson and 7 year old grand daughter. There was not a single soul or car in sight. At the end of the street was a deep red sky from a Florida sun gone down, silhouetting a palm tree and darting night bats making marks across the sky. All was quiet except for an occasional bark from a back yard dog.
We chatted away about people's cars and boats and landscapes. If there was a lull in our aimless chat, my grandson would spit. A few more minutes passed and I gave him a challenge, "I bet I can spit further than you." He stopped and looked at me with eager eyes. The challenge was on! He twisted and screwed his mouth around trying to summon up enough liquid for the first spit round. I drew a line in the middle of the street. We stood 5 steps back from the line. He spit. I spit. He won. My mouth was dry as the dessert, but his was again ready for the saliva duel. At this point, I noticed that the princess was standing away from us. Aloof, as if she'd never participate in anything so crude. But she watched patiently as we lined up for another round. This time I tried harder. "Patooey!" I yelled as my feet left the ground. And he, with all his young spit, spat. He won again. He pummeled his chest like Tarzan and yelled, "Spit champion of the world!"
Thank god, dark was closing in, and mosquitoes were landing for free food. "I'll race you to the house!" I said. I was out of breath as I turned the key in the front door. I thought to myself, Oh lord, what kind of an influence am I having on my grandchildren. The role is to bake cookies or read stories, and here I am spittin' in the streets. But then, my grand daughter grabbed my hand and put her sweaty little face on my arm and said, "Mimi, you're the coolest grandma ever! I just love you to pieces." Mission accomplished.