Saturday, October 15, 2011

Being Fully Present

Yesterday was one of those days that the kids have off of school for no apparent reason.  I think it had to do with conferences or something like that.  Dave took the day off too, so we decided that we would go to Fun and Stuff which is a local place where you can do a bunch of things like laser tag.  I decided that I was going to go and be fully present and participate in every activity that the kids wanted to do, even if it killed me. 

The first thing we did when we got there was go on the Krazy Kars.  They are round bumper cars so not only can you ram into your loved ones and various strangers in the 15 and under crowd, you can also spin around and make yourself sick.  It was pretty fun.  As I was being crashed on all sides I had the thought that the new chiropractor I had started to see would not be amused. 

The next thing we did was go sign up for Laser Tag.  To Colin, this is the BEST! THING! EVER!  I have played with him a few times, but it has been a few years.  I have a confession to make.  When I am put in competitive situations, I can not be held responsible for my actions.  I get a little bit crazy.  Once we were playing a holiday version of Trivial Pursuit with my in-laws.  I believe I went a bit overboard when I was yelling at my team because they did not know the colors of the candles in the advent wreath off the top of their heads.(The answer is pink and purple in case you had a burning desire to know.)  Another time we were playing Monopoly with Dave's 80 something aunt and I plotted to bankrupt her so I could win.  I am not proud of my behavior so I often avoid situations that unleash the beast. 

During the first game of Laser Tag I was able to keep myself in check.  I made a respectable showing and stayed close to Colin's score.  It was when we went back later in the day that things got kind of ugly.  There were four kids that were in the 11 to 12 year old set that were talking smack.  They were acting like typical tweeners on their own for the day.  I was doing fine until they started trash talking me.  It was at that point that it was game on!  I took no prisoners and cornered one kid and shot until I was out of shots.  He said "geeze, I am just a kid".  Again, I am not proud of my behavior.

Dave decided that he wanted to roller skate.  If Dave was going to do it, by God I was too.   That is, until I had my skates on and stood up.  I made it about 10 feet and decided that a broken bone was not worth being fully present, and common sense took over.  I have not skated in about 30 years.  Yesterday was not the time to start.  Dave and Colin made it around the rink and Ryan and I went off to do some arcade bowling. 

When we met back up Colin wanted to do the Rock Wall.  He is really good at it and makes it look kind of easy.  You guessed it, I tried it, too.   I made it about a quarter of the way up, but my hands got sweaty and I was having a hard time finding a good place to put my feet.  Having big feet does not help when climbing the rock wall.  Have I mentioned how big my feet are?  Big!  I can now cross that off my bucket list. 

Colin did this thing where you had to try to make it across a room without breaking a laser beam.  He was really good at it.  The whole time he was crawling and bending and jumping his way through, I couldn't help but sing the "Mission Impossible" theme song in my mind.  I am sorry to say that 24 hours later it is still stuck there. 

Finally, we went outside to the go-carts.  I am now disclosing that I am a graduate of the BMW test track driving school.  You know, the one in South Carolina.  Yep, That one.  The Real One!  Lets also remember the beast had been unleashed in Laser Tag.  Also, I had the two person car because Ryan is still too short to drive on his own so he rode with me.  The first time we rode, I had a bad car.  Ryan was fine with this because he is not a speed demon.  We were out for a leisurly ride waving as people lapped us.  It was the second time that got a little heated.  You guessed it, the laser tag kids were there.  I had a fast car.  I got to go first and after about three laps around the track I started to pass people.  I approached the LT kids and they were not about to be passed by me.  They swerved in front of me to prevent me from passing.  They bumped me on the turns.  I decided to be the adult and back off.  Again, they started with the trash talk.  I guess they had not learned their lesson so I had to school them on go-cart driving.  There are some advantages to being behind.  I stalked them until the last lap and then passed on the first turn.  They ate my exhaust the whole way around. 

I have to say the day was an all around success.  We had a great time as a family and had a ton of laughs and fun.  I think we created some good memories for the kids, and I got to see pure joy on their faces.  Their giggles are music to my soul.  I am happy to report that the beast is captured back in the cage and hopfully won't unleash itself again for a long time. 

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