Around the corner and wrapped behind our apartment complex is a big housing development. The other day I noticed it has a rec center with a pool and a playground. Today, our morning had moved along normally, but we made no plans to head to town. We needed to get out of this apartment after lunch, so taking a walk with the playground as our destination seemed like a great idea. Of course, there was the argument about who would be "line leader" - thank you, Thursday School - but once that was all settled we started. It certainly seemed closer when we were driving, but we arrived after about 20 minutes of racing, stopping, inspecting various sidewalk litter, getting mad at whoever had passed up the appointed line leader, crumpling and crying, etc. We talked about the creepy trees covered with Spanish moss - Bug says that if you eat it, you will be able to speak Spanish. I told him he will be greatly disappointed by Spanish moss.
We had the place to ourselves on this blue sky day. The kids played for about 10 minutes on their own as I stretched out on a bench and tried to soak up some sun. Soon they were calling for me. Okay, I thought, I know we've played "follow the leader" a few times in different settings - we should try that. However, the Johnson children were not on board with Momma Johnson. I asked Bug to be the leader, but some things he did, Bean didn't want to do on her own. I'd help her through the obstacle but then she wanted me to carry her the rest of the way. Nope - defeats the purpose of running them ragged. Bug would race off and be upset that we hadn't caught up. I appointed myself line leader - and had some good moves, I must say - zigzagging through the shrubbery, walking along the retaining wall and climbing over picnic tables. Good moves, but I looked back and Bean had wandered over to the swings and Bug was distracted by a drinking fountain - whhhaaaaatttt? "You're not following the leader? Come on!" I began to wonder - "Don't they know they are supposed to follow me? Aren't I fun with my moves? Who's dropped the ball here?"
....and here's where I take the metaphorical liberties to attempt to justify this blog account :p : "Am I a leader worth following? Don't they appreciate where I'm going and that I'm taking them with me (codependency, anyone?) Have I taught them the 'right way' to follow?" Hmmmm....we all need to work on following, I'd say.