"Well climb up there."
"Pawaw I too scared." I had never heard Cayden Timmons claim to be scared to do anything.
Seth agreed with my thoughts. "Oh since when? It's probably just a phase."
"No I not a phase! GO WIT ME on dat hill!"
Seth groaned then, like a bear waking up from hibernation. I watched the two of them climb the hill holding hands. From behind they resembled Shrek and a munchkin. Sometimes it didn't appear that Cayden's feet were touching the ground.
When they came back down, Cayden's backside was muddy and Seth needed CPR.
We kept walking. We finally came upon the Narrows Covered Bridge. Which was built in 1882.
"It's awful old," I said. "Reckon it's safe?"
"It's fine. I'm hungry. And if my blood sugar drops we're gonna have a problem." Seth had clearly stopped having fun, probably about a mile back.
We crossed the bridge and forged ahead for miles. Cayden got his feet wet. Seth felt hypoclycemish. I needed a bathroom.
We finished hiking our preferred trails and reversed course, knowing that we had to backtrack and cross Narrows Covered bridge to get back to our car.
That's when Cayden plopped down on a log. He frowned and his little shoulders seem to sag.
"I tired. I had nough of Tukey Wun," he announced.
There is no arguing with a 4-year-old when he poops out. I heaved him to my shoulders. His wet feet dangled over my chest, his head drooped on my head. After a few minutes I passed him to his Papa for his turn as a pack mule.
Seth stepped back, adjusted the kid on his shoulders — then paused and took a long look at my shirt.
"What in the world is wrong with you?"