One of the things that never ceases to amaze me about living in Northern Florida is the variety of green/historical places we get to enjoy. Recently, we’ve been going on hikes at the Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve. Through some miracle we found a trail that was just right for all of us – Foos included. She likes to run ahead of all of us, and I like to worry about said running ahead, even though by now I’m sure she knows the trail by heart. I like to linger behind my family, mostly staring down at the roots with the misfortune of being in the middle of the trail, looking up once in a while to make sure everyone is still accounted for. The trail ends in a breezy lookout we usually monopolize, annoying the shit out of other hikers by taking up the benches, audibly snacking, and singing Moana songs into the marsh. I love my family.
Our favorite librarian, Erin, recommended we check Creaturepedia out. We did and foos loves it! She loves it so much she has to take it with her when she goes for bike rides with her dad; so much she sat on the sofa and read it cover to cover the minute we got home. I love it too — I want every illustration framed or tattooed on my face. Creaturepedia manages to be informative, whimsical, and incredibly beautiful. We don’t own it yet, though we did buy a copy as a gift for someone else, but we added to the amazon wish list pile. Happy reading!
We launched a rocket. Foos wanted it for her birthday, Seth did all of the work – the whole endeavor was filled with daddy-daughter magic. But the magic, like most magic, was short lived. Immediately after the launch Foos was bitten by an angry ant, broke out in hives. She spent the rest of her evening reclined on our bed, crying, and fighting the urge to scratch. At least we will always have this photo.
This weekend we piled everyone in the car, including the dog, and drove south to Sarasota, to see Grandma, Pepaw, and the gulf. Seth and I snuck away for a date to the Selby Botanical Gardens, which were excellent and merit a second visit. The kids spent most of the time at the pool, where any trace of Foos’ paternal wasp roots were overcome by a conspiracy between the sun and her mother’s caribbean melanin. I loved it. We took a backwoods way back home, which made me nervous. For reasons I cannot explain, I feel ill at ease in America’s open spaces. The barns and depressed towns don’t conjure up any feeling of nostalgia or even beauty, only of mild panic and fear. Seeing a Trump sign for the first time displayed proudly on somebody’s lawn, didn’t make it any better. It may as well have said “I hate gays, women, and people of color.” But we made it back to our nest safely, and I’m sure the only memories which will remain of the visit are of family and love.