I'll admit when I suggested to Ang that we take the kids to the lake this afternoon I wasn't thinking with my head but with my heart. I saw the picture perfect Carolina blue sky and the 68 degree weather and my first impulse was to spend the day outdoors and together.
It never crossed my mind that 4,798 other people would be thinking the same thing when we got to the playground by the lake, or that Rakes bringing his "laser gun" would cause every other kid on the playground to want to take it away from him. Have I mentioned Rakes inherited the classic Little Man syndrome from me in which he has no problem talking trash to anyone in his space and would have willingly submitted to being thrown into the lake before he let some kid he didn't know play with his gun?
After 15 tension filled minutes of watching Rakes shoot the other kids, Trot yelling "You can't have my brothers gun!" and Ciera laughing her head off I managed to convince them if we went on the nature walk around the lake we might see a bear.
Mind you, there hasn't been a bear sighting around the lake since the first of never, but it was enough of a promise for the hellions to quit terrorizing the other children and hit the bricks.
What followed was a Griswold-esque experience of wandering the trails backward while travelling roughly 2.5 miles to cover maybe 1 full mile. We had walking sticks attacking trees, Trot JUST missing a head on collision with what the owner told me was a dog but I'm fairly certain was a midget pony, and Rakes collapsing to the forest floor and muttering "I can't go on."
Throw in Trot falling down over a tree root every 15 feet, Angie attempting to set the World Record for Fastest Time Around The Lake While Wearing Dress Shoes, and the always popular "Rakes and Trot Pee at the Same Time while Crossing Swords" and you could say we had a full day.
Always looking at the glass being half full, I'm proud to say nobody got lost, the lake is still there, and other than a few discarded walking sticks and some freaked out fellow hikers we had a good day.
Chuck E. Cheese.
I'm tempted to tell Ang to call them in the morning and let them know I'm coming.
And Hell's coming with me.
But I figure the Mouse has heard it all before.
First thing tomorrow morning I'm headed to the sporting goods store to buy a cup.
Building for Keeps
1 week ago