On Sunday evening, my son and I were invited to a vegetarian potluck dinner at a friend's place. Initially, I couldn't go but as my existing plans fell through at the last minute, I was able to attend.
I had just finished cooking up a pot of meatless spaghetti sauce and was feeling pretty pleased with myself for being able to make such a spontaneous decision to attend.
My son was baking a coffee-cake and told me he intended to walk to the dinner. I smiled, said I'd walk with him and waited for his cake to be finished.
When it was, and having no idea of the time, I followed him out the door.
Within minutes, I was panting from trying to keep up. My son doesn't walk; he sprints. Everywhere. All the time.
"You're walking too fast," I managed to get out in puffs of air that hung in white clouds before me in the humid air.
He looked annoyed, but slowed his pace.
I attempted light conversation.
"We're late," he responded.
He may have left himself ample time to race across town and still arrive at a reasonable hour, but he hadn't counted on his mother trundling alongside him.
We were an hour late. Dinner had already been eaten.
As we sat with our hosts and their other guests, my son served his coffee cake. A treat I had to forgo as I've vowed to eschew dessert in solidarity with my daughter who is giving up cigarettes.
Within minutes, I could see exhaustion hit my son. His shoulders drooped and he remained silent amid the banter of his friends. I had known he was too tired to attend this event, but he insisted he was fine and at the age of eighteen, I figure he's old enough to make these sorts of decisions on his own.
We stayed about twenty minutes then began our journey back home.
Junior had the look of desperation about him. "I've got to get home. I can't walk with you."
"Go," I barked, feeling thoroughly miffed as he raced on ahead.
He kept in my sights until a red light held me up and he vanished into the dark.
I arrived home a mere thirteen minutes behind him. Not so bad for an over-weight fifty-year-old, I thought though I was still pissed off from being made to feel like a dead weight.
Result: Five kilometres walked. Apology given and accepted.
I never would have walked that if I still owned a car.
I'm feeling kind of proud of myself.