"Okay I want to hike the dam, ride 10 miles on the river trail, shoot skeet, mountain bike Farmdale, take Pippa swimming, hit the driving range, wash and wax the cars..." and on and on and on. And this is all going to be done.
I politely informed him that we could not, would not, and should not do all 53 things on his list, but we could do two maybe three. So we started with the family bike ride on the river trail. Nice. But more importantly is the trip home. The trip where we discovered a water park a mere three miles from our house. A water park with slides, lazy rivers, water gun treehouse, and cascading waterfalls. Right by our house. How no one mentioned this to us in the three years we've lived here I'll never know.
We did what any sane adult would do, ran home, slathered on sunblock, grabbed some towels then sat on the couch (I sat. Skip bounced off the walls) while Pippa took a nap.
Excitement would be appropriate for what I felt about our water park adventure. I'm not sure a word exists that describes Skip's mounting euphoria as I navigated the twists and turns to the park. Were I a cell in his brain I'm sure I would have seen vivid flashes of water spraying with each turn, as he mentally relived all past water slides on the car ride to Splashdown.
If excitement captivated the car ride there, horror swiftly kicked it out when we saw the lengthy line of people waiting at the entrance. A line of people we joined for about 15 minutes before we realized it wasn't moving. At all. And then all that excitement crashed through the dam of arrested development. We skulked away. Told Pippa something better would come and took her to our local outdoor pool. Where a fitting cloud of despair had descended along with a drop in the temperature.
Two hours and a nap later. Skip determined to reclaim his day with a trip to the driving range. Mostly due to fear of missing out, we went with him. Me, mini-me, and miniature golf.
Once we got the bucket of balls, Pippa transformed into mini-Skippa with a water park like zeal. Were I a cell in her brain I think I'd be woozy from the cascading white golf balls that hit the greens with a never-ending bounce. She lost her mind, stole my blue-plated putter and started hacking at any ball in sight. Dad grabbed her as she charged after the thousands of white dots on the driving range. Like a bull she pawed into the air, surprised and mad not to make contact. But when I took her the mini-golf course it was heaven.
She ran the fairways like a super-model on the catwalk. Proud, sure, and certain she belonged. I never held my putter again without two little grubby hands guiding my swing. Sometimes I think we shouldn't name our children until after a year of life. If that were so she would be Fairway, or Emerald Isla, or Tigera, or Jaclyn Nickle-Knowles. As for me? I would still be blessed.