By mid morning on Saturday, Elijah and Luca had morphed into some kind of Childbot. Part couch. Part Xbox. Mostly sugar frosted cereal. I attempted to convince them to attend family fun gym or family fun swim, but they both hissed at me like rabid raccoons.
So when my brother arrived a few hours later, we decided to take everyone sledding. I tricked them into thinking it was a video game about sledding.
Instead of our go to, (Linda) Lovelace park, we drove to Evanston’s infamous Mount Trashmore. It’s a massive landfill across from the Home Depot that had once been a major sled spot until calmer heads and an equally high pile of litigation shut it down.
There’s a Mount Trashmore Junior right next door that was far more appropriate for we parents who embrace the overprotection of our children and don’t spend our time forwarding “We didn’t wear bike helmets and played in underpasses in the ‘70’s” messages on Facebook.
Within minutes, we watched a dad (wearing dress shoes) fall so hard on his head we thought we were going to have to bury him in a drift for eternity. We also watched another dad yell at his sons so much that we wanted to bury him in a drift for eternity.
But the kids were psyched. They demanded not just regular pushes, but super pushes. And then super duper pushes.
Luca also asked that we move the starting line to the barbed wire fence that separated Mount Trashmore and Mount Trashmore Junior.
Channeling my inner 70’s kid, I suggested we all try one ride down Mount Trashmore before we went home. Amazingly, the kids were all for it.
The climb up was littered with destroyed sleds, all acting like warning signs not to proceed. Oh, and there was an actual warning sign. It read, “Sledding and Tobogganing not allowed. Sledding and tobogganing are dangerous activities. DANGER!”
The kids who could read balked. Steve assumed a macho stance and said, “Guys. Live a little. This is your chance to face your fear. You can’t live your life being scared of everything. Let’s do it.”
This, from a man who still makes me call the pizza guy for him.
Steve and Rory went first. The friction was so intense that they ripped a massive hole in their sled, which was then added to the pile.
Before Luca, Eli and Finn could argue, I sent them on their way. A giant rooster tail of snow erupted behind them. As their speed hit Evanston’s posted limit of 25MPH, I was struck by how dumb an idea it was to send my two beautiful boys to their deaths.
They made it to the bottom without incident and I could hear their shouts of joy from the top of Mount Trashmore.
I then made my way down on foot because I’m no dummy. When I regaled Diana with the story of Mount Trashmore later she simply said, “Don’t do that again.”