Lazy Summer Evenings

As nice as it is sitting around the house, teaching the boys about etiquette and the finer things in life,


I’m trying to take advantage of summer.

For all I complain about living in SoCal, sometimes there are perks.

The beach is quite nice.

After work I’ll toss the boys in the car and drive down to the pier. Traipsing about in the sand while the sun lingers in the golden sky is a very nice way to end a busy, stressful day.

DragonMonkey and the Squid seem to have a good time.

It’s nice to see them bonding as brothers.


Some nights the thought of dealing with sand and the inevitable meltdowns is too much.

I’ll plop The Squid in one of the many carriers I have around,

slap a leash on Max, and off we’ll go.

It’s hard for me to be depressed about my life if I’m outside. Besides, both the DragonMonkey and Bad Max seem to enjoy our new evening rituals.

Last weekend I dragged The Bean with me out on a walk.

“Come on, you’ll enjoy yourself. It’s beautiful outside! Sun, breeze, fresh air….”

I grabbed his hand, and pulled him to his feet.

“You won’t regret it.”

The four of us set off to walk along the riverbed trail.

It was really nice.

BadMax and the DragonMonkey forged ahead. The DragonMonkey’s extremely proud of the fact that he is walking HIS dog, and he makes sure everyone we pass knows it.

“Walk MAX. I walk Max. WALK MAX. Yoook. Yook at me. WALK MAX,” he hollers.

The sound of the sand crunching beneath my sneakers was soothing, and The Bean and I walked along in companionable silence, shoulders bumping.

The afternoon breeze was light, but the day was warm enough that it felt good against my skin. I closed my eyes slightly and tilted my face up to the sun, smiling slightly.

Something fluttered against my hand, brushing down lightly.

Landing? Did something just land on my hand?

Umm… did I have a bug on my hand?

I pride myself on not being a squealy girly-girl about bugs, but still… did something seriously just land on my hand?!

With The Squid strapped to the front of me I couldn’t just glance down, so I did the next best thing: I shook my hand, blindly trying to flick it off.

Something large clung tightly to my finger… AND BIT ME.

It’s amazing how quickly someone who prides herself on not being a squealy girly-girl about bugs can throw her pride out the window.

“EEEEE! EEEE!” I flapped my hand frantically, accidentally smacking The Squidgelet in the process, prompting him to howl. “Eeee! Get it off! Getitoff! Getitoff!”

I shied into the Bean, hard, throwing him off balance. I could still feel it, whatever it was, heavy and flappy, clinging tight to my hand. I flapped it against my thigh, trying to squish it, but it clung stubbornly and bit again.

“EEEEEEE!!!! GETITOFF!”

With one last flick I felt it come loose and out of the corner of my eye I saw it falling towards my pants leg. I bounced to the side with another squeal…

And watched as a large butterfly fluttered brokenly to the ground.

I stared at it in confusion for a moment.

“It’s a just a BUTTERFLY. It’s a MONARCH BUTTERFLY.” I looked up to see who spoke and saw a pack of bicyclists riding past me, all glaring at me with similar looks of disdain and accusation. Stupid sissy girl. Butterfly killer.

I blushed, and busied myself trying to soothe The Squidgelet. I didn’t look up until the sound of their bicycles and their feel of their judgy, judgy eyes were far in the distance.

“It bit me,” I explained to The Bean.

“Butterflies bite?” He raised his eyebrows.

“WHATEVER. I know what I felt.”

Ahead of us, the DragonMonkey and Max were stopped, watching us. “Bug? Mama kill bug?” The DragonMonkey watched me, eyes wide. Learning.

Yes, that’s right, my son. In this family we destroy butterflies. We also eat spotted owl soup and warm ourselves at night with our baby seal blankets.

“No, DragonMonkey. It was a mistake. Forget about it.” Right. As if. “Let’s just keep walking.”

“Butterflies bite?” The Bean asked again, smirking.

“Shut up.”

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