The city has been repaving the roads in our neighborhood. Cheaply. They lay down some tar, then a layer of little black pebbles, and the pressure of the cars driving on the road is supposed to press the pebbles into the tar. I guess regular old cement is so 20th century.
The thing is, there are parts of the road, like corners and edges, where the cars weren’t able to do their job of pressing the pebbles into the road. Sidewalks and driveways end up littered with these little black pebbles, just waiting for a kid to wipe out on a bike or scooter. So on a walk, when we came to one of these corners that was littered with little black pebbles, Christian called a halt.
“Time to turn around!” he called, gesturing to lead his pack the other direction.
So I was like, “What? Why?”
And he said, “There’s rocks all over the sidewalk!”
And of course the kids had no shoes on, because we never really meant to go on a walk, but sometimes you’re just eating popsicles in your driveway and the next thing you know, you’re trekking across the neighborhood.
So I said, “Oh come on. It’s just a few harmless pebbles. You never walked around barefoot as a kid? Back in our day, we only put shoes on to go to church!” If even that! Okay, I lie. I grew up in Dallas, where we practically wore heels to bed.
And he was all, “Things are different now! More dangerous!”
And I kinda looked at him like he was kinda maybe getting a little irrational, “…Like the rocks are sharper?”
In the end, the kids traversed the perilous rock garden of 2014 with only minimal fanfare, and we all made it back home with our feet in tact. Sometimes Christian actually does have me partially convinced that he never a) went anywhere barefoot, b) played with dirt, or c) did anything gross or boyish or wretch-inducing.
Although he does have mighty soft feet.