November 8, 2005

Jungle Shortcut

It all started when I decided to take the kids for a walk in the park. The park has nice, wide, gravel paths, just perfect for pushing my deluxe, off-road, double jogging stroller extra-ordinaire. I, feelling a desire for adventure, decided to explore a new trail. The trail looked innocent enough, it wasn't gravel, but it was wide and straight and flat, at least at the beginning. We followed the trail down a hill until it joined with a new, slightly rocky-bumpier but still wide and straight trail. We continued on our way until we came to a tree that had fallen down across the path. I, still labouring under my adventure craving, decided that I would push the stroller over the tree. The tree was about knee high but the stroller, being an all-terrain stroller went over easily enough.

At this point in our adventure, a man passed by on his way up the trail. He looked at me, he looked at the stroller, he said, "You're brave". I thought he was referring to my pushing the stroller over the tree, but I was about to find out he was actually referring to the rest of trail. I continued on my way down the hill, which was getting rockier and steeper. After an uneventful few moments, we came to a second downed tree. I had a decision to make, push the 50lbs of stroller up the steep, rocky trail, a task that would be nearly impossible, or go over this second tree and try my luck with the rest of the trail. I decided to push on, thinking the trail couldn't get any worse and surely these trees were flukes since the rest of the park was so well maintained.

Over the next half-hour (or so) the trail continued to grow worse, that is to say more wildernessy. I wrestled my way over more downed trees while the trail bed continued to get rockier and wetter until I was pushing the stroller along what was, for lack of a better description, a very untrail-like terrain. It had become a stream bed with the stream still in residence. "But," I thought in with eternal optimism, if not wisdom, "at least the trail has flattened out".

By this point, though, I was trying to figure out a way to get myself, and the kids, out of this mess. I knew that the main, beautifully maintained, easy to maneuver the stroller along, flat, dry, gravel trail couldn't be far to my right, but the way was blocked by an impenetrable woods that had to have been imported from a Grimm's fairytale. I knew, that if I absolutely had to, I could haul the stroller back up the hill and over the trees by dragging it behind me and taking my eldest son out of the stroller to get it over the trees. I didn't relish this idea.

Suddenly (duh-duh-duhn) I looked ahead and saw what looked to be a beaver pond in the middle of the trail. There was another downed tree blocking the stream bed/trail and causing a pool of water to form. A knee deep, woodsy-looking pool of water that was blocked by a huge tree that, even laying on its side, came up to my waist. I stopped the stroller and said out loud, "Oh, help".

When my 3 year old heard this he said, "Maybe all my friends will come and rescue us, Mommy". He has great confidence in all his friends.

I said, "No, it's just mommy."

He looked up at me with a worried expression and said, "Just Mommy?".

I could tell he was thinking, "Well that's it then, I'll have to grow up in the woods and be raised by wolves..."

I locked the stroller so it wouldn't roll away and went to check out the situation. On the far side of the pool of stagnant water, past the downed tree, the trail went steeply downhill again. I felt as though I was gazing upon my great downfall, the end of all my hopes and dreams. Then, like the sun coming out, I spied something through the trees on my left. A gravel path!!! About 30 feet past the pond and the downed tree from hell lay the end of this path of insanity.

I went back to the kids and pushed them and the stroller (as one) up into the wilderness of the Grimm brothers' forest on the left side of the path. I somehow managed to maneuver the 50lbs of stroller through the trees, around the pond and down the last bit of trail/stream bed, out of the darkness and into the light of the gravel path. I had made it out! I was an earth mother, a fearless adventuress... and yes! I was damned lucky. I almost threw myself down onto the path to kiss the nice smooth gravel.

In the end, there was no harm done, my baby didn't even wake up from his nap through the ordeal. I heaved a sigh and pushed the kids back up the hill to home. I followed the nice gravel paths the whole way.


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1 comment :

Don Mills Diva said...

But look at the story you had to tell!

Here via Better Than A Playdate - great post!