Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Part of why we moved out here to the mountains was to give our sons actual experiences. I wanted to create monumental events that would burn into their brains, leaving them forever changed. Hiking mountains. Punching Black Bears. Shooting Native Americans.
The reality is we still live in a city and I work a job that takes me away from my family for days and weeks at a time. And the epic, live changing events I imaged are harder to come by when one member of the family needs to sleep 2-4 hours during the day. We’ve spent more time at the Denver city zoo than any mountain. By far. I’m not sure if that bothers me or not. It’s just not what I planned.
I found myself rolling these thoughts around in my head while I was driving Elijah home from King Soopers Saturday afternoon. The radio was on and Garrison Keillor was recounting the days before ipods and Facebook, when a great afternoon meant standing on your dad’s lap, steering the car while he drank a beer.
I suddenly remembered Saturday afternoons with my dad when he would take us out driving in the country. I don’t recall a beer in his hand, but I think he was smoking cigarettes at the time. But I remember steering his old beat up yellow car as one of the great moments of my childhood.
I immediately swerved off Alameda and into a massive church parking lot. I turned around to Eli, who was cramming Skittles into his face, a reward for not making my life miserable in King Soopers.
“Eli. How would you like to drive the car?” He looked at me like I was nuts.
“I’ll do the pedals and you steer the wheel. You can stand in my lap.”
His eyes lit up and he crawled across the front seats. I suddenly had a powerful desire for a beer. Or a cigarette. And I let my foot off the brake and put the car into my 4 year old’s hands.
And for about ten minutes, I thought Eli was making an actual memory. I knew I was.
p.s. This photo of Luca’s butt has nothing to do with driving my car. But it is just as awesome.