Three Amigos

June 8, 2018

We had more highlights than a kids’ dentist office today. Alice, Elliot, and I made the two-hour trek to San Mateo to the Curiodyssey science and wildlife center. They made flying creations that flew up a wind tunnel. They watched two bobcats, Frankie and Caro eat hunks of mouse meat. They watched airplanes zoom directly above their heads. They saw an otter pee and poop. At the end of our trek, I asked them what they enjoyed the most. Alice liked the bobcats, a sleepy gray fox, and the non-pooping otter. Elliot liked the beetles, a frog, and a tarantula.

The animals were pretty cool. Curiodyssey is actually an animal rescue center for critters that can’t survive on their own in the wild. But that wasn’t the biggest highlight for me. The science stuff was fun. I would have liked more from their expository signs, but the exhibits were interactive and the kiddos cooperated well. But that wasn’t my favorite part of the trip either. There was a feeling of indescribable peace that came over me as I watched teachers chaperoning their clusters of kids while yelling out old stand-bys like “Slow down!” and “Because this is where we need to be right now.” But even this near transcendence didn’t reign supreme.

I liked the car trips. I like being stuck in an enclosed space with my kids for hours where the smaller distances between us lead to free and easy conversations. We talked about past trips we’d taken. About memories from when they were younger. About our favorite days of the week (Alice: Sunday, Elliot: Tuesday). We played a few improv games, one where we just made up random names and then described their back stories and another one where we made up movie titles and then came up with the characters and storylines. Alice noticed a highway patrol officer who appeared to be dressed in civilian clothes. This confused her, so I came up with a theory that someone had stolen his car. Then one story lead to another and the next thing I knew I was shouting out, “Policemen in their underwear!” from an open window as my daughter was squealing with embarrassment.

“Dad-DY!” she exclaimed.

Later on in the drive, Elliot egged me on to further embarrass his sister, which I obliged.

But perhaps my favorite thing was describing the plots of childhood movies to my kids. On the way over, I described Three Amigos in detail, since it’s the movie I’ve seen the most in my life. On the way back, Elliot was clamoring for another, so I told him about Home Alone. This was somewhat ironic since, these days, Elliot totally freaks out about the prospect of being left alone. But he loved the description, as did Alice, and I can’t wait to watch some of these movies with them.

A friend once shared some wisdom with me. He started taking his daughters skiing and he told me that the thing he enjoyed most wasn’t the skiing. It was the one-on-one time he got to spend with them on the chairlift. I thought this was a brilliant idea, but if you ask me how many times I’ve taken my kids skiing, I’ll tell you that the number rhymes with hero.

Thank goodness for meaningful car rides. I hope to get in as many of them as possible when these kiddos are young. And maybe, just maybe, then amigos forever we’ll be.

2 Responses to “Three Amigos”

  1. Debbie Says:

    You do know I love reading about your adventures with Alice and Elliot. Lucky kids!A day trip with Daddy AND Panda Express.(or was that a treat for you?) Love the photos!

  2. teachiro Says:

    Alice lobbied hard for Panda Express an hour into our trip. Wonder where she got that from? Fortunately, we were stuck in horrific traffic, so it made sense to take a break. Glad you’re still reading. Will try to do a little more of this during the summer.

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