“Nooooooo! We don’t want to go to a boring work party!” shouted the kids in unison.
“But kids,” I said with a twinkle in my eye, “get in the car. Or else.”
So off we went to a boring work party, by which I mean an awesome party at a big house on an idyllic pond with horses, climbing trees, secret paths, and an adventure around every corner. So you can see why two small children would hate it. Oh, and did I mention there were hot dogs?
In fact, it wasn’t long at all before we were able to ditch our children, thanks to the small ditch they found under the deck. “Daddy! Can we go in this hole we found?”
|“If you need us, we’ll be in China!”|
“Yes! Go in the hole! Have fun!” It was great. Kids off being kids, just like in the good old days. The grown-ups could chat and eat and laugh and play frisbee, while the children got to meet other children and then try to bury them in a pit. Perfect.
|“I knew I shoulda made a left turn at Albuquerque…”|
|Nothing is more fun than a dirty hole in the ground|
Of course there are always a few downsides to allowing your children to roam free. For instance, at one point I wandered over to the drinks cooler and found my four-year-old standing in line for the keg, red Solo cup in hand.
|Yeah, you look 21. Okay. Here you go, kid!|
And of course, with both of my children having medical conditions that allow for the possibility of them dropping to ground at any moment and requiring an ambulance, it is not always easy, or right, for me to just let them wander off for long periods of time. But Ruby found a tree to climb almost within earshot, and Edward found a dog to bother, right where I could see him. Everything was fine, until they discovered the secret path to the pond.
|Let’s go exploring!|
The secret path to the pond started in the grass, took a sharp and hidden turn onto a rock, which then led to a long stretch of half sunken wooden planks through the marshy bullrushes. At the end of marsh were two floating logs, a semi-floating dock, and an actually floating dock, tied with a thin rope to the wooden pathway. It became very clear that stepping onto either of the logs or the lower dock would cause these things to sink to the bottom of the pond, but we circumvented that when Edward stepped right into the water and missed all of them anyway. Luckily he only sank up to his armpits, but it was enough to terrify him and keep him mostly away from the pond for the rest of the party. Ruby did not fall in, and she spent most of the the rest of her time on that dock, helping someone fish.
The dock, in a happy bit of kismet, was visible, barely, from the deck of the party, so I could see her white blob of a shirt moving around in the distance, and know that she was still alive. And Edward spent most of the rest of the time running around with the dogs, bothering other adults, and trying to drink beer. So we got the best of both worlds. The kids got to be free to have their own adventures with no parental supervision, and I got to have my eye on them the whole time. But only one eye.