Every kid needs an adventure. Parents, too. So, after school today, instead of going straight home to do homework and start dinner, we fled to the hiking trails of a nearby state park.
We bounced along trails. We climbed over huge logs. We shimmied closer to ponds to see frogs and fish and floating leaves. We found walking sticks, then picked up even big walking sticks. We hiked and hiked, letting the colors tagged on trees guide our way.
Sound perfect? How about I share a few conversations on the trail and you can be the judge if it was a perfect day (or if I am even fit for parenting)? Okay, go.
Tuck: This walking stick is giving my penis a massage.
Mom: Excuse me?
Tuck: A penis massage.
Mom: Quit riding it like a broom. It's a walking stick. USE IT RIGHT!
Cooper: We've been walking for a long time. We might be lost.
Mom: We're not lost. These trails are just long and we've been changing trails. We have to keep going forward to get back.
Cooper: I think we're lost.
Mom: We're fine. Just keep walking.
Cooper: WE'RE GOING TO DIE OUT HERE! (He starts crying).
Mom: Stop hitting me with your walking stick, Tuck.
Tuck: Oh, sorry, Mom. (Hits me again).
Mom: If that walking stick hits me one more time, I am going to get very angry.
Tuck: Okay, okay. Jeez! You're going to have to get a lot tougher if you want to stay on this adventure.
Cooper: We made it off the trail. Finally! Hey, I don't see our car.
Mom: Oh, crap. We must have come out on a different trail in a different parking lot. I wonder where our parking lot is?
Cooper: Do you even know where we are? (very accusing tone). It's almost dark.
Mom: Hey, I see a car at the top of the parking lot. It looks like someone is in there. Let's go see if she can help.
Cooper: Tell me we're not getting a car with a stranger.
Mom: Thanks so much for giving us a ride. Sorry to interrupt your evening.
Nancy (the stranger): No problem. It's a great day for a hike. You're a few miles from your parking lot though. Glad I was here. It's almost dark.
Cooper: Hey, Mom, look at this. It's a vibrating back massager and it works.
Mom: (in an aggressive whisper) Cooper, put that down right now. I mean it!
Cooper: It's got three speeds. It can fly like a spaceship.
Mom: Thanks again for the ride. Did I mention how much we appreciate it?
So, that's it. The adventure. Tomorrow we might go back to doing homework and getting dinner ready, but for today we just enjoyed the sunshine and each other. I'm thankful.