February 2013 Archives

The Best Day of a Second Grader's Life

» I have long since realized that parenting involves more than a proverbial annual pilgrimage to Disneyland. But I still harbor the notion .. that a father/son day with my boy at the Happiest Place on Earth would be a blast. A total blast!

Baloo & Mogli | Jungle BookBack before the Bug was born, I used to visit Disneyland every year on my birthday .. to celebrate it the happiest way I knew.

My b-day falls in January. Mid-week you have the whole place pretty much to yourself. Short lines. Minimal waits. "That was awesome! Let's do it again!"

Yes, I have been there during the summer break .. on the weekend, no less. No fun. Two hours in every line. A mass of sweaty bodies baking in the sweltering sun. (Never again.)

No, I have not been to Disneyland with the Bug, but I *did* spend some time with him this weekend. If you are a regular here, then you know about some of the too-adorable things that he has said and done.

Now, certainly these parenting vignettes are always nice. Yes, very nice. Precious, even. But sometimes I feel like I actually need them. Because they breathe new life into me (.. often when I need it most).

Case in point, this weekend, the Bug says (.. to his girlfriend, they're both 8) » "Isnt this the best day of your life?"

» What Constitutes the Best Day of your Life?

There we were .. sitting in a yogurt shop. The girl's grampa was there, too. The kids had just finished their yogurt and were starting on the candy. (Must be 50 different jars there. Easy.)

And gramps says to his granddaughter, "You're gonna get me in trouble with all that candy." She got way more than the Bug, and she's sharing her sugar-coated strips of sour ribbon. Generously.

And I say to the Bug, "Oh, we have a few good get-dad-in-trouble stories, don't we?"

And I told gramps and his granddaughter the story about how, one summer day, while we were down at the Newport Pier .. two girls were driving around in a Red Bull car .. with a big red bull mounted on the roof.

As we were locking our bikes there near the pier, the pretty girls called out, "Would you like some Red Bull?"

"Can we, dad?" the Bug asked. "Okay," I said. "Just one."

These bikini-clad girls were driving around on a scorching summer day, handing out samples of ice cold Red Bull. People were flocking from all around, soon surrounding their Bullmobile.

Red Bull canThe Bug walked over and the driver handed him a can, a small can, the 4 ouncer. His eyes were lit up as he walked back.

» "We won't tell mom."

He got me in trouble with that. So it surprised me when, it wasnt many weeks until he asked again.

This time we were standing in line at a store check-out ..

.. beside a mini-fridge, stocked with both the 4- and 8-ounce cans. "Can we get some Red Bull, dad?"

I looked down at him. "Don't you remember?" I asked, warily, "what happened the last time I gave you Red Bull?"

"We won't tell mom," he says.

I paused to study his face. "You'll get me in trouble."

"No I won't," he said, rather convincingly.

"Okay. One of the little cans. We'll split it." So he opened the case and grabbed one. (I admit I'm easy.)

I checked the time on my cell. This was an hour or two before he was scheduled to go back to his mom. (We normally spent 2½ days together.)

[ I must admit, as I calculated the t-minus number, I could see the risk. Something seemed say, "Dude, you are asking for trouble." =) ]

We sat outside on one of the benches. I popped the top and handed him the icy can. He took a sip and passed it back. A few more passes and it was empty. Less than a minute. We were riding our bikes that time also, so any energy had a physical outlet.

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