Mandatory Fun


We’ve all been there – and probably wearing matching outfits.  You know what I’m talking about.  The mandatory fun your mom insisted would be,well, fun?  But it just wasn’t.  Yeah.  We had that last Thursday.  And, yes.  We were wearing coordinating outfits, although that was purely coincidental.  I certainly wouldn’t make my family dress alike.  Although, now that it’s happened…

It started out innocently enough.  A friend mentioned the Southern Lights Stroll at the Horse Park – the opportunity to walk or run through all the light displays before the park opened the attraction up to vehicle-only traffic.  Robbie was thrilled at the idea of running through Christmas lights, and Justin naively joined in, thinking he was going to get to run a 5K.  How could this possibly go wrong?

Let me count the ways.

1.  The event was packed, which meant there weren’t enough t-shirts.  We all know a free t-shirt makes even the worst event a little more bearable.  But, rest assured , our shirts will be in soon.   Which will require another trip to the Horse Park.

2. Robbie refused to run.  Or even walk, for that matter.  And this was a three-mile venture.

3.  Robbie refused to sit in the stroller I pulled out at the last minute.  So, there we were, in our coordinating blue fleeces, with a child standing up in his stroller and screaming at the top of his lungs.

4.  In an effort to stop Robbie’s screaming and not waste our $40 registration fee, Justin carried Robbie on his shoulders for 1.5 miles.  At that point, Robbie’s hands were freezing, so he agreed to sit in the stroller to put his hands in his pockets.

5.  Justin wore shorts.  It was 45 degrees.

6.  Just when we began to think we were in the clear, we got to the car.  Everyone was buckled in, talking about a dinner at Cracker Barrel.  That’s when we heard it.  The sweet melody of a certain little boy wetting his pants.  All over the car.

Now, I have to give him credit.  As I sat in the car, explaining to Justin that, although I had not had the foresight to bring an extra set of clothes on our excursion, neither had he, it was all I could do to hold back my tears.  It was then that Justin took my hand and said the sweetest words a woman could hear: “It really wasn’t that bad, honey.  The walk was nice.  And the lights were pretty.  You didn’t ruin our Thursday.”  And I almost believed him.


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