When I think back on it, not many of the adventures my parents took me on were actual adventures. Mostly, they were errands.
We made a very long trip to buy a whoopee cushion.
It wasn't the intent when we started, but as J.R.R. Tolkien wrote: "You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
A white sky filled the bedroom with light as my 3-year-old stood over me and told me I should get up.
"What's the weather like out there?" I asked.
She looked outside. "The sky is white, but there's no snow," she said. "Also, there's something fuzzy on the window."
Fuzziness aside, I told her I sensed adventure, and we were about to have a fun day. When I think back on it, not many of the adventures my parents took me on were actual adventures. Mostly, they were errands. As a parent, I get it. If you have to get things done, it is better to have excited kids than the alternative.
And I needed to drop the car off to get fixed.
"What kind of adventure?" she asked.
"The greatest kind," I replied. "The kind where we use our powers to save the kingdom from a terrible evil, and also drop my car off at the car place."
She responded with a stern look. "And we can walk to the park after," I added.
With that, she ran to get ready with such gusto I got excited to drop the car off, too. We piled on winter clothes and stood in the driveway for about 10 seconds to determine if it was too cold for an adventure. "Nah, not bad," she replied.
We realized we were wrong when we were the farthest away from home. Only an Arctic fox would find this weather comfortable. A bitter wind blew horizontal and violent with no regard for a father and his daughter enjoying the park. But we weren't to be deterred because the best part about being at the park on a cold day is there is no one else around. So, obviously, you can climb all the slides.
When my daughter's cheeks were the same color as her magenta coat, we made the walk home with the wind to our backs. About half a block later, she admitted she could walk no more. She buried her face in my chest, and I carried her a few more blocks until we reached a dollar store.
We browsed the wares while we warmed up. "Can I get something?" she asked while looking at the toys.
"No," I said before a whoopee cushion caught my eye. It made me feel nostalgic and think of my dad and grandfather, who would approve of such humor. For all I know, the whoopee cushion might be on our family crest.
As my daughter would describe to her grandparents with great delight, "when someone sits on it, it makes it sound like they tooted, even though they didn't."
Oh, the healing power of the whoopee cushion. It made the rest of walk bearable. When we got back, she got me every time I sat down and tried to get the cats, too, before her sister and mom got home.
"Boy, that was a long way to walk to buy a whoopee cushion," I said near the end of our journey. "Was it worth it?"
"Worth it," she replied.
Reach Dave at 330-580-8490 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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