"Mommy, I go walk," Billy announced. He didn't wait for an answer. He wasn't wearing shoes. He just popped open the back door and headed out for a walk, the lil bugger.
Down the driveway, then onto the sidewalk, he kept going.
"Where are you going?" I asked.
"I walk!" he responded. Still barefoot. Still determined.
I would have liked to have thrown a coat on him, and some socks and shoes. It was a bit blustery.
Still walking, swinging his arms, he shouted back, "Mommy, clothes off!" Then he started pulling at his shirt, trying to remove it, still walking forward.
Well, now I knew where he was headed. "Billy, the pool is closed." You know, being September and all, and the weather turning colder, the pool is closed until next summer.
"Clothes off!" he retorted. (Retorted. Really, I wrote that?)
He walked himself all the way to the pool and leaned his head against the closed gates.
"Make it open!" he demanded.
Inside all of the chairs and tables were stacked. The wind blew a few stray leaves across the pavement. And not a soul could be seen. It was so lonely and forgotten looking, when just last week kids frolicked and laughed as the last days of summer passed.
So, I scooped him up and carried him home.
"No, Mommy! Pool!" he cried.
"All gone, Billy. All gone." At least until next year. But to a toddler, that might as well be forever.