Sunday, August 8, 2010

Ocee Park and the Alpharetta Greenway

Per yesterday's vow, I took it easy today. Waffle House, church, and a nap, of all things. It was around 2 when the girls and I finally got down to business.

We found a park in Alpharetta, kicked the soccer ball around for about an hour and threw the softball around for another hour. I haven't kicked a soccer ball since 6th grade, but it's funny how it all comes back.

The girls are learning, but they're also learning about a whole new set of dangers too. Mainly, getting hit by the ball, unexpectedly. Iz has bruises all over now. I hope I don't get a call from DFACS tomorrow. Somehow Sophie managed to keep from getting all whacked up, but it wasn't for lack of trying.

Iz can throw overhand pretty well. Sophie's barely got it. She's getting better, but what might have been her first perfect throw went about 10 feet before crushing Isabel's face and busting a blood vessel in her temple. She's gonna have quite the shiner going on the first day of school tomorrow. Again, I'm praying I don't get a call from DFACS.

I call this shot American Happiness...

 American Happiness

...but enough of that. They played on the playground until they got bored, then we ran by the Quicktrip, grabbed some Gatorade and Sweet Tarts, sat down on the curb in front of the store and snacked it up. When I was a teenager, skateboarding with my brother, we'd hit a 7-11 and sit out front on their curb, hot and tired, feeling the breeze. Today I did that with my kids. So nice. People looked at us funny.

We hit the Greenway next. They've got a little mountain bike trail off of the northern most section in Alpharetta. We rode that.

Sophie's shoe fell off a couple of times.

 Sophie's Shoe

She needs better laces.

We did laps and laps. Every lap they did a little better. They figured out all kinds of good stuff.

But it wasn't all sunshine. Me and Iz talk about natural consequences sometimes. She doesn't always do the right things. She's a kid, after all. I tell her all the time, getting in trouble with me or Kathryn is the least of the trouble she can actually get into. Most bad behaviors have natural consequences that are much worse. She got a good taste of some of that today. We have this "Rule Zero" of being in the woods: Stay together as a group. There are so many reasons why. Yeah, one day they'll learn to be safe and confident in the woods by themselves, but for now, that's the rule. I told her like 5 times today, "Don't get too far ahead." But she gets tired of waiting on Sophie, wants to show us how fast she is, wants to be independent, and so on, so she kept taking off ahead. So far ahead that I couldn't see or hear her. And then she crashed. Not bad, just sketched and tipped over, but then she couldn't get the bike off of her, couldn't get started again, tipped over again, banged the back of her calves with the pedals, and more of that, over and over. She called for me, but I couldn't hear her, and all she could do was wait for us. Less than a minute, but to her it was forever and she got really, really scared. Natural consequences. Don't get too far ahead.

Other than that, everything went well. One more lap and she was fine again.

Back at the trailhead we found Muscadines growing all over the place.


Sophie wasn't too sure at first, but after seeing me and Iz eat like ten of them, I guess she figured it was safe.

We ate dinner at Taco Mac, dessert at Baskin Robbins, and they both had to take an extra long time in the shower before bed.

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