Pete Gilbert">

Summer Fun?

All winter, while we were stuck inside, the only thing I could think about was playing outside with the kids. I had these grand visions of family bike rides with our youngest in the trailer and our two oldest riding right beside us on their bikes. I dreamed of picnics, flying kites and logging lots of hours at the park. I looked out the window on cold snowy mornings and imagined my kids happily playing in the sandbox, building make believe towns, pretending to be pirates in the playhouse and enjoying playing in the yard.

Now that summer like weather has finally arrived it’s time for all my dreams to become a reality. Or is it? As with most things, the reality of summer time is quite different than what I thought it would be.

First there’s the sunscreen. My kids don’t really like to wear it. Mainly because they don’t want me to put it on them, they would prefer to do it themselves. When I let them do it, they usually get it in their eyes, and that’s when the screaming begins.

There’s the battle of the bike helmet. Same thing. I try to help, they want self-sufficiency and next thing you know they’ve pinched a little piece of skin underneath their chin in the helmet latch. More crying. Somehow dad always gets the blame for this one too, but I’m not exactly sure why. Once helmets are secured there’s all the other bike related issues I find myself dealing with: fighting over riding a sibling’s bike, training wheel trouble, broken bike bells and, of course, flat tires for dad to fix.

Then there’s the issue of bugs. My kids have a knack for getting bitten by bugs almost immediately after they get outside. If they aren’t getting bit, then there’s usually a bee to sting one of them (or at the very least freak them out), and there’s always rashes from plants that my kids seem to pick up from just being in the vicinity of them.

Oh the joys of summer, right? Bring back the snowflakes. When was the last time you got your kite stuck in a tree in the middle of winter? Never. That’s what I thought.

-Pete

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