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Change of Plans

Saturday afternoon, me and my boys decided we wanted to go to one of the local parks for an hour or two. One thing we needed to do, though, before heading to the park, was stop by the home of one of Calfgrit10’s friends. The friend had left a couple toys at our house a few days ago, and we needed to return them.

So we loaded up in my truck and headed out. As we pulled into the friend’s driveway, I asked my boys if they’d like to invite the friend to come to the park with us. Calfgrit6 immediately said, “Yes,” but Calfgrit10 thought for a moment and said, “No, not today.” I have no idea why he said no.

Calgrit10 and I got out of the truck and walked up to the friend’s front door and knocked. When the friend and his mom answered, we talked for a few moments, and then the friend said, “You want to stay and play with me?”

“Yes!” Calfgrit10 said, enthusiastically.

The friend asked his mom, “Can Calfgrit10 stay and play?”

“Sure, if it’s alright with his dad,” she answered.

So I left CG10 there and went back to the truck. When I got in, I told Calfgrit6 that his brother was going to stay and play with the friend for a while. The look of disappointment that crossed his face broke my heart. He said, “I wanted to play with Calfgrit10 at the park.”

I’d made a big mistake. Damn. “I’ll play with you at the park,” I offered as consolation.

“Okay,” he said with a sign. “You’ll play tag with me?”

“Yes,” I assured him.

He still had a hang-dog look, so I tried to think of something we could do together that we might not normally get to do. Nothing like that came to mind immediately, but, not surprisingly to anyone who knows me, I did have the idea for us to go get ice cream together. “How about we go get some ice cream? Just you and me?” He said yes, but the idea didn’t seem to cheer him up much.

After picking up ice cream from Cold Stone, we went on to the park — the “dragon park,” which we named for this fixture:

At the park Calfgrit6 and I played tag all over the place. All around the three play areas, all up and in the play sets, up and down the ladders, poles, ramps, steps, and chains. How can a little guy half my height run me so ragged? He has to make three strides to my one, and he has to climb where I can just jump, but still, he could just keep going and going and going. I was worn slap out.

Granted, I got a bit competitive with my little opponent, jumping and climbing just short of performing parkour — I’m in a bit more athletic form compared to what I used to be. So, really, I wore myself out where I could have mostly coasted through the games of tag.

We played for over two hours, straight. Calfgrit6 screamed and laughed, I screamed and laughed, and I think he completely forgot that I had broken up his planned play time with his brother. Until we were walking out of the park back to my truck. We walked along the sidewalk, holding hands, and he said, “This was fun, daddy. Can we pick up Calfgrit10 and bring him here and play some more?”

I said, “How about we pick up Calfgrit10 and then go to CiCi’s for pizza?”

“Yeah,” he said, “that would be better. I’m getting hungry.”


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