As I walked on the Sammamish River Trail with our wiggly, cute little oven – also known as Benji – strapped to my front, I couldn’t help but notice that we were having a very nice day. Sadly, this picture didn’t catch either the bald eagle that soared overhead moments earlier or the great blue heron I saw hunting in the Slough a little ways back.

Additionally, I noticed that I didn’t need flannel-lined jeans or the big warm jacket I ended up carrying on my arm: Benji in a front pack acts like several layers all by himself. I can certainly attest that Benji, who slept almost the entire time, stayed plenty warm. Now I know to dress more lightly when carrying the baby.

Actually, this walk was a testament to Benji’s sleeping ability. I couldn’t help but notice how loud this route was:
– Both parks we went through had loud lawn mowers going right by the section of path we needed to use.
– The road had heavy semi-truck traffic, of which a number Jake braked to slow down on the hill.
– Of course, the light industrial buildings lining the trail emitted all manner of rumbling, howling, hissing, and other industrial-type noises.
– Naturally, too, the traffic on 522 made all the usual vehicular racket.

Tied for most obnoxious, however, were the gas-powered leaf blowers* diligently pushing wet leaves off the owner’s property, and the street sweeper that went down Brickyard as I slowly trudged up.

The sweeper went by, slowly and loudly, but heading downhill as I went up. Thank goodness! I thought…and then it turned around at the bottom and crept back up the hill barely faster than I was walking. I could clearly see the driver wearing hearing protection. It was incredibly loud, as it had the heavy truck component making the usual engine noise plus the street sweeping component squirting water and brushing and sucking (maybe? Not sure what all is involved there). That definitely disturbed Benji because it went on so long.

Through almost all of this racket, and despite my walk jostling him constantly, Benji slept. THAT, I think, is what it is to sleep like a baby.

*When I’m elected President, on Day One I will make gas-powered leaf blowers (and any other landscaping tools powered with small, portable internal combustion engines) illegal. Also, super-long extending dog leashes.

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