I can see my son laughing, so the other kid must be okay.
I hate playdates.
This one had begun innocently enough, my boy got a new bike and when his friend’s mom texted me to see what we were up to over the weekend, I figured it would be a good chance to reciprocate from their last playdate,* so I invited the kid bring his bike and come over on Sunday afternoon.
* Playdate doesn’t seem like an appropriate term for the gathering of 12 year old boys. What’s it called now?
The boys spent some time pillaging and destroying around our house and yard , then we piled into the Westy for a short ride over to our neighborhood park. Sure, it would have made more sense for them to bike over to the park, but there’s a really busy street to cross and I didn’t want anyone getting squashed on my watch. To quote my loving boy, I was being paranoid.
Went to the park, they rode, I read. They snacked, I played Words. They rode, I read. They got bored.
A request was made to go to the canyon, where my kids had ridden bikes with their Dad the day before. It was right around the corner, so they biked and I drove the Westy down to the entrance. By the time I got there, they had already started their descent along the trail so I rushed over there, leaving everything in the rig while I figured out how this was going to work. I could see them, but they were bobbing up and down the hills and valleys so sometimes I could only see three helmets. Then I only saw two helmets, and I clearly heard my son ask: “are you okay?” shit. But he was laughing, and I thought: “I can see my son laughing, so the other kid must be okay.” He wouldn’t be laughing if his friend had tumbled ass over handlebars into the dirt, right? Right???????
By the time I got over there, the kid was up on his bike, I asked if he was okay and he said that he had hurt his whole body, except for his head. And the head is really the most important part of any boy, so score one for me! He was fine though, and it wasn’t until later that my girl told me he had gone over the handlebars and landed on his head, and the rest of his body must have gotten hurt when he slammed down into the earth.
Anyway! After they settled in to a routine of death defying stunts within the boundaries of my
paranoid sensible direction, I went back to the Westy to get my kindle and phone and …. oh shit, I forgot to bring water.
I returned to find that they were ready to explore the path on the other side of the canyon, and at first this seemed like a really good idea to me because it was a wider path that from my vantage point appeared to traverse just the lip of the canyon before clearly becoming unsuitable for boys on bikes. I looked for a nice rock to sit upon while I watched them approach the point where they’d turn back, and then I watched them disappear.
Dig if you will this picture: me in a tshirt, capri length yoga pants, and flip flops; clutching my Kindle and my car keys, hair flying in all directions, stumbling down, down, down the canyon path hollering. My girl was behind me, and every time I yelled my boy’s name she yelled it right after me so I could not hear if he was answering (as if). So I’m trying to explain to her that I would handle the yelling, she should just stay put for a minute (as if). But my girl was not keen on staying put on the path by herself with all manner of lecherous predators and murderers and girl-nappers while I ran down into the canyon, so she ditched her bike and ran down with me, in her pink helmet and tank top, hollering.
We finally reached them way down at the bottom, where the trail had reached the riverbed and they had to stop their bikes. And oh yeah, now that I mentioned it maybe they did hear something that sounded like I was calling. And oh yeah, they were pretty far down. Huh, it was going to be kind of a hike to push the bikes all the way back up the canyon path.
Too bad I didn’t have any water.
I hate playdates.