Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Daddy's Mistake

Memorial Day, 2012 started out as all Memorial Days for our family.  Kristine and I woke up and listened as the kids rattled around in the kitchen getting themselves breakfast.  We heard the bowls hit the table, the milk spill, boxes of cereal fly all over the floor, then silence.  Children eating is a beautiful sound.  That is, until they want seconds and try to determine, like a flock of rabid hens, who should get how much and what kind of cereal was fair, should the inventory be getting low.

Groggily, we made our way down the stairs and viewed the damage.  There wasn't much a day of cleaning couldn't take care of and we were pretty well refreshed from a long night of sleep.

Then, Kristine announced that she was going out with a friend - all day - to go clothes shopping.

Now, to be fair, she had mentioned this fact to me about fifty times over the course of the previous several weeks, but it never really hit home until the time came for her to leave and I looked at the massive cleaning job that was our house.  But, like a good husband, I pouted, complained, kissed her goodbye and watched her leave my life for a day.

I didn't want to clean and I knew the kids didn't either, so I yelled out orders for them to get dressed with socks and tennis shoes, grab a swimsuit and a towel, and off we went.  We drove to a grocery store, picked up some vittles, stopped at a park to eat, then drove into Wisconsin to travel the two lane country roads, stopping at small town parks along the way to do nothing but enjoy the sunshine and slides.

We stopped in a small hovel called St. Joseph.  They had a town hall backed up against a really cool park.  Off the park was a grass path that dipped down into a grassy area and disappeared over a small rise.  We could see the path come back from the other direction and figured that it was a circle. 

I thought, "Small town.  Small path."  So, off we went.

About a half mile into the path, the sun was hot, I was carrying two kids, Renaya was carrying one, Laura was holding one by the hand, and everyone was sweaty and miserable.  I looked over the vast grassy plain and realized that we were only about halfway around the circle and tried valiantly to get the kids excited about anything - just anything.

"Jack!  Look!  A butterfly with black wings!  Isn't that cool!"

"I don't wike buttofwies.  I'm tieahd.  I hot Daddyeeeeeee," Jack wailed.

"Ok, I'll carry you."

And on it went.  Jack laying his sweaty face on my shoulder, making me pour with more sweat.  The path went below sea level and began to fill with puddles of water.  That interested the squirts for a while and the sprinkling splashes of water from their kicking feet felt refreshing.  But we still had a few hundred yards to go and I was losing the rest of the kids.

We came around a bend, and stopped dead in our tracks.  We could see the park that we started from.  I could hit it with a baseball if I gave it everything I had.  But, right in front of us, the path had flooded completely over.  The water was running over what used to be grass and came up to my knees.  We were stuck.

For a fleeting instant, I thought about walking all the way back around but quickly tossed that idea when I surveyed the kids' faces.  So, I whipped off my shoes and socks and carried them across the water, one by one, like sacks of potatoes, to their squealing delight.

They forgot all about the heat.  No longer were they tired or sweaty.  Fun was now in season.  I carried all the kids across except for Felicity and then quietly told everyone to wave at her and I yelled, "Goodbye Felicity!  Have a great day!"

She giggled.  I went back across, picked her up, gave her a wet, sloppy smooch, and finished the job.

To the person who built the path with the water running across it - you're a pure genius.


  1. Paula G V aka YukimiMay 30, 2012 at 5:26 AM

    Hahah, what a cute funny story. I like reading you stories with your kids because your snarky sense of humor and self-deprecation is really fresh. My fav is still the one with the other family and the museum 'though XP

  2. This is such a sweet story. Thank God for mud puddles lol.