Monday, September 11, 2006

Oh, the adventures of parenthood!

Tonight we had the bright idea that we would let Brynn drive her Gator (pictured above on a sunny day) to the playground near our house. This, despite the ominous black clouds looming overhead. We haven't lived in Colorado long, but long enough to know better than to go out amidst such potentially scary weather. Sweeping aside our better judgement, we followed Brynn down the driveway, around the corner, and down the street to the playground. (To our credit, there were a few spots of blue sky remaining among the clouds when we left our house).

Brynn did a superb job driving the Gator - she never ran into anything and managed to stay on the sidewalk when she needed to. When we got to the playground, she and Callie both hopped on the swings and then onto the monkey bars. Soon, though, it began to get ugly. While Brynn was on the monkey bars, she peed in her pants - something she hasn't done in many months. We had to leave much sooner than intended to get home and clean Brynn up. Off we went, Brynn pantless and shoeless driving the Gator and Scott and me scolding her for not using the potty before we left even though we had asked her to try.

Before we could even make it off the playground, the thunder started. First the thunder, then the little raindrops, then the little hail, and eventually the monster, skin-pelting, burning hail. Oh, the pain! Oh, the humor thinking about what our neighbors must be thinking as they witnessed me running up the street pushing Callie in the stroller and Scott running next to Brynn encouraging her to "just keep driving!" through it all! I was stopping at every suggestion of shelter to pull up my jeans (wet jeans are not meant for running!) while Scott continued to encourage Brynn that everything would be all right if she'd just keep driving! Callie didn't seem to mind at first (as in, while we were still next to the playground) but by the time we got out to the street she was screaming, saying "boo boo, boo boo" while pointing to the skin peaking out between her pants and her shoes. She had hail in her hair, hail down her shirt, and she was soaking wet, strapped into a semi-prone position in the jogging stroller with tears pooling on the tops of her cheeks and streaming down her face. By the time we got to our driveway, she was wailing in pain and fear. I managed to get quite a ways ahead of Brynn and her dad, but apparently Brynn was having a similar reaction because halfway up the driveway she abandoned the Gator and sprinted to the garage while her dad pushed the Gator up behind her.

As Scott and I did our best to comfort our two frightened and tormented children, we couldn't help but laugh. Hysterical, belly-aching laughter that did a world of good for us individually and for us as a couple. When it comes down to it, what bonds people better than shared laughter? Parenting can be trying, frustrating, and at times divisive but we have also found it to be an intimate bonding experience. I know this is nothing new to those of you who are already grandparents and have experienced many adventures of parenthood, but wow! What a blessing when one is able to experience the joys, mixed in with the pain, for oneself. It makes us eager to catch a glimpse of what adventures lay waiting for us around the next bend.


Michael said...

I really enjoyed that story, but I hope the kids weren't too frightened by it. Although sometimes, you can't help but laugh when you are completed defeated and feeling helpless. Although now you eventually have to break Brynn of the philosophy that "everything will be alright if you just keep driving".

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the giggle :) CWB