The setting sun is warm, but there’s a chill to the air: summer has finally lost its grip in Indianapolis. I drop my oldest daughter off at the high school pool for her swim practice, while my six year old and I head over to the track to do a few laps.
Before getting started, I spray Eden and myself with bug spray. Eden clenches her teeth together stoically as I do so, she knows how necessary it is. These end of the season mosquitos are extra bold in their daring. Twenty minutes outside at dusk can turn you into a blood donor for the insect world.
As we begin our first loop around the track, Eden is fascinated by everything she sees. ”So this track? It just goes round and round?” she quizzes me. ”It doesn’t want to go anywhere?”
I tell her how people built it exactly like this, on purpose. So people will know just how far they run or walk. I also teach her about track etiquette: slower people on the outside, faster ones on the inside.
From our extremely slow outer orbit, Eden watches a few people sprint past us and whispers, “Do the people running, get so dizzy as they spin round and round?”
I laugh and say maybe.
My legs begin to loosen up as the blood pumps faster throughout my body. To keep up with my increased pace, Eden has developed a little gallop in her walk. She looks like a small dancer in Hello Kitty garb.
Despite the exercise she keeps up a running commentary with me.
“I like counting by tens more than counting by twos. It just goes faster and my brain doesn’t have to work as hard.”
“When I grow up and become an ice cream maker, you can stop by and try out all my new recipes. Because that’s what I do for you at dinner all the time.”
“Why did you decide to marry Dad? Didn’t you know that I would want to marry him instead?”
As she talks more and more, my heart squeezes almost painfully. How I love this little girl.
We finish up our last lap, the sun has almost completely disappeared causing the school lights to turn on. I turn to my youngest and say, “I am so glad I got to spend this time with you talking.”
Eden nods and leans towards me. ”You know what the best part is Mom?”
I smile, anticipating some declaration of devotion to come out of my offspring’s mouth.
Eden continues cheerfully, “None of these people around us even know that we’re wearing bug spray.”