April 30, 2022
I was standing in the long line at an Easter festival with 2 of my 4 children. The line was for a bounce house. It seemed like an endless journey just for them to experience 30 seconds of enjoyment while I endured 30 minutes of hell trying to keep them preoccupied until it was their turn to enter the inflatable house.
A DJ was streaming music to the right of us. He was trying to make announcements about the current events going on elsewhere in the ball fields but he was drowned out by his own music and lack of conviction in his voice. The kids were littered everywhere like Easter eggs we would later hunt. It was sure to be a continuous madhouse throughout the day.
Such is life as a parent.
These rides and games were a staging area to placate the children until it was their age groups turn to hunt for Easter eggs in adjourning field. It was a wild scene all around me as the toddlers and young children thumbed their noses at their parents while running around like wild horses in green pastures. Us parents firmly in place at our current position not daring to move thus losing our spot.
My baby boys hung on me like monkey bars attached to a jungle gym. I guess there are worse perils for a big guy like me. My first son climbed me like a wild tree climbing animal until he could mount himself on top of my shoulders like a sassy house cat. My second son clung to my leg like a greenpeace activist who was hugging a tree. He cried and carried-on because he wanted to sit on my shoulders as well but the idea of trying to explain the concept of one at a time was not going to work. So to be fair, I’d rotate them so I could appease the child mob. One up. Then down. It was a constant rotation.
The line nudged forward. I would take 2 steps. Stop. Wait. Carry. Drag. Placate. Repeat. And so it went.
Moms and dads have to have helicopter arms. My hands grabbing my kid’s appendage and my powerful legs lifting or lowering their tiny bodies that weighed like sand bags. I must say this was a great workout.
Parenthood isn’t easy and it is moments like this I question to myself, “self, why did you have kids?” If I didn’t have kids I would travel the world and see things that I have always wanted to see. Putting myself first. Instead here I stand holding my ground in this 2 square foot of space so that these 2 can enjoy some romper room fun and then later the Easter bunny. Yes, I guess I could say, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I don’t know any other life other then this current one.
My kids got bored of me and scampered around the area my body was grateful for the rest but now my eyes were continuously scanning for them. Not only for their safety but I wanted them near because we were getting close to the entrance. Come hell or high water, their butts are getting in that bounce house.
Finally, the moment of truth for the beginning of the end of this line because my wait was over. I wanted to grab the mic from the DJ and announce to the crowd.
<pat, pat> smacking the mic. I would blow into it.
“Excuse me everyone. I did it. I successfully stood in this line and suffered immense mental anguish as we inched along like the back legs of a caterpillar whose head crossed the finish line hours ago. Thank you.”
They boys enter the bounce house at hot as a fever on a kid who doesn’t want to go to school. The boy’s zigzag around the inflated poles until they knock into each other, giggling as they fall to the ground. Their little bodies bounce of the floor. They scamper to the wall and to my surprise they climb the wall that leads to the slide. One goes down headfirst. The other rolls down in an uncontrolled fall. Both of them boys landing at the bottom of the inflated platform, creasing the center, crating the middle and then they folded into each other. <clank> goes their heads but they laughed.
Before I could control them. They rolled off and cut the line and did it again. I pretended to be upset and apologized to the parents for their craziness all the while they snuck by me and did it a 3rd time. I apologized again, rounded them up and left to go see the Easter bunny.
That line was longer than the bouncy house line. I don’t think my body can withstand another 45 minutes or so of flipping them, tossing them and having them cling to my body. I’ll zone out and imagine being on a French Riviera. But I want you to know, I’m grateful for this journey and enjoying the only life I know.
© Copyright 2022 Captain Imperfecto, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be republished, rewritten or redistributed.