Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Birthday

A few days ago, I overheard WCK telling her grandma, "Easter is over, but it is almost Father's Birthday, and then it will be July Time." Happy Father's Birthday to all you dads!

We have a really fun water park near our house. They have a cool program on weekday mornings called "Splash 'n Play" where they only admit kids under five (well, and their parents, of course) for just $5 per kid. A water park visit is much more stress-free when you don't have to worry about an enormous eight-year-old accidentally jumping on your three-year-old. Last summer, we didn't find out about this until halfway through the summer, so this year I vowed we would go all the time. It was supposed to start on June 2. On June 4, WCK and I got up bright and early, got into our swimsuits, spread on the sunblock, and headed for the water park. We got there to discover ... the water park was closed. They'd decided to wait one more week before opening and hadn't announced it. I had to explain it to WCK, and it was the saddest thing ever. We managed to salvage the morning by running through the sprinkler in the back yard, but it just wasn't the same.

This morning, we thought all three of us would go to the water park as part of our Father's Day celebration. The newspaper said we'd have a nice morning and storms in the afternoon. Clouds began gathering as we were leaving the house around 11 a.m. Did we let that stop us? No! Our family is brave. We are hardy. We are wildly optimistic. We are, clearly, fools. About 20 minutes after we stepped into the (freezing) water under black, scary clouds, the lifeguards made us all get out and go home because of lightning.

WCK was devastated AGAIN. When she woke up from her nap, she wanted to go back to the water park (which was supposed to re-open after the storm), but it was only 65 degrees outside, so we had to say no. I explained that we'd do something even better: We'd take Daddy out to dinner! We'd give him his presents and the card she made for him! She still cried bitter tears. I imagine her talking to a psychiatrist about this in 30 years: "My parents kept getting me excited about the water park when I was three, but then we always had to leave." It reminds me of that old Deep Thought by Jack Handey:

"One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my little nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse. 'Oh, no,' I said. 'Disneyland burned down.' He cried and cried, but I think that deep down, he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but it was getting pretty late."

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