Before I came home from Afghanistan, I asked each of my kids what they wanted to do with just their dad; without having to share the time.
My oldest daughter wants to bike the Loveland bike trail. I took all them out on the trail for an 18 mile jaunt, towing the youngest two in a bike trailer. That didn't count; by my own reckoning. I still owe her a day on the trail. We've been rained-out and had scheduling conflicts with her Irish dance, but we're going to try again next week, I think.
My youngest daughter wants her dad to take her ice skating. She recently broke her arm playing, so that's got to wait. Then perhaps dad can break his arm.
My 13 year old son wanted to go canoing, so I took him canoing today on the Little Miami River.
Before we got to the canoe livery, I stopped and picked up four bottles of water for the trip. Shortly after we got started, I said, "Son, chuck me one of those waters."
His response was typical of a 13 year old; "What?"
I repeated myself, word for word. He glanced at me over his shoulder with a look that clearly said, "That sounds crazy, but if you say so..."
He raised his paddle in the air and splashed backwards with enthusiasm, showering me with water.
I still can't figure out exactly what the thought pattern was that converted tossing me a bottle of water into a request to be moistened. The sad part is; he can't tell me, either. Somehow or other, he really thought that I had just requested for him to douse me with his canoe paddle.
Perhaps an appointment with a speech pathologist is necessary. It is entirely possible that I am reaching that age when I sound, to anyone under the age of thirty, like an amazing imitation of Charlie Brown's teacher. I thought I said, "Chuck me a water," but what he heard was, "Bwa waa wa wa waaa waaaaah."
Perhaps teenagers suddenly develop dog hearing upon reaching that magical age of 13. Perhaps I actually did ask him to chuck me a bottle of water, but all he heard was, "Son, wurfel rommit zumpf water." All he knew was that it was a command having to do with water. Being actually afloat on the stuff, I had to be demanding to be summarily drenched. He immediately complied.
I guess I should feel glad that no matter how crazy he may think it is, he will do whatever I tell him to do. Or, he could be like the old man in the movie who says he can get away with flipping everyone off because they think that he's senile.
I love being a father.