So, we decided on a nice walk in the woods this morning, since the day was so clear and beautiful and not too hot for late June.
And, oh hey, it’s Father’s Day. Why not let Dad celebrate his state of Fatherhood-ness by going for a lovely stroll with his lovely family on a lovely day?
If we had envisioned a peaceful promenade with skipping, gleeful, obedient children and birds singing the Sleeping Beauty Waltz in the background, our hopes were quickly dashed by the 3yo deciding to exercise her threeness.
“I don’t wanna wear dose shooooooes! I wanna wear the sparkly ones [that are 2 sizes too big and that I only knew about because my innovative and overly curious big sister pulled them out of their secret hiding in storage].”
Even if she didn’t say all that, that’s definitely how I heard it.
So we got to drive down to the trail to the unending soundtrack of “BAD DADDY” spoken around our shoeless Wiggly Toddler’s little thumb.
The Approachable Man asked her if she though he was Bad to the Bone. Without even the slightest deliberation, she decided, “No, He is just a BAD DADDY. Humph!”
Upon our arrival, the Helpful Kid asked for the leash to the Curious Pup and ran off. The Toddler “asked” why the Kid “goooooooo-oooooo-oooot the leeeeeeeeeash?” so I gave it to her straight. “To torture you, sweetie. Clearly.”
For some reason, she then cheered up enough to accept shoes on her feet and then ran off to join her sister.
All went well-ish for the first mile. But then it was time to turn around and the kids were Tired.
But we were prepared!
…Or so we thought…
The stroller we had dragged along for that mile had a flat tire. But, as I said the kids were tired. So Approachable Man took turns carrying the kids. Er, I mean, the kids took turns being carried by Approachable Man. Whatevs.
I mean, is there a better way to reflect upon the weight of responsibility Fatherhood entails than by carrying your progeny’s actual, uh, weight?
We walked along, Approachable Man carrying each kid in turn, me pushing the empty stroller, kids whining full blast…all the grownups hoping that one of the many bikers going by would notice our predicament and let us borrow a bike pump…
Instead, all the bikers noticed the empty stroller and the heavy child in his arms and rode by looking at us like we were insane.
Which, in retrospect…
So while I walked along with a sardonic look on my face and a dying but stubborn hope that someone would help us, suddenly an older couple on bikes pulled over and asked if they could give our kids little National Park Service badge pins…
I have lived here all my life and been on that same trail many times and have never once seen Park Service Patrol.
But in that moment, they were like angels in disguise. I asked if they had a bike pump we could borrow and they proceeded to pump up all the tires, including the totally flat one!
Oh man. If that didn’t set us up to have an amazing rest of the day, then nothing could.
A kidless movie date and some family time followed this adventure.
I think I’ll call this Father’s Day a success.
Happy Father’s Day to Approachable Man, who is the best father I’ve ever seen! I’m so glad you’re there for us.❤