Saturday, September 24, 2005

A Perfect Day To Be A Daddy

So, back to the day. We went to get something to eat, which he devoured. We rode the merry-go-round again, which he really seems to like. He still won’t ride on the horses, he just likes to sit on a bench seat on it, but that’s fine. I’m sure that all too soon I’ll be looking back with nostalgia on the days he liked to sit with me. It was a beautiful day here in the northeast so I decided to go to a park I’d heard about with him. It was great! There were boardwalks all over the place, which made for a great place to start.

We explored that for a while and then went into another section that had lots of ducks and two geese. We got food from the dispenser and fed them, which was hysterical. He wasn’t afraid of them at all, and he kept trying to pet the ducks, which would run back and jump into the water. When we started throwing food again they’d get out and pretty soon we were surrounded. The two geese arrived and they were very good-tempered for geese. They ate out of his hand, which he didn’t mind, but what happened next was the best. When he had thrown the last of the pellets, the geese wanted to get his attention so they’d get more food. One of them reached out and grabbed his pant leg and shook it. He shrieked and laughed and ran back to me telling me that the goose had gotten him.

Not long after that I was squatting down next to him giving him some more food when the same goose grabbed the back of my shirt near my shoulder and started pulling. He was laughing so hard he started getting short of breath. He was saying “Daddy! The goose is getting you!” I thought the concerned look of a nearby woman was even funnier. I think she thought things were getting out of hand and the goose would soon take me down. She’d probably watched too many “When Good Pets Go Bad” shows.

We went up to the Aviary at the park next. They had a lot of different birds there, including many not native to the U.S. We walked around there and the last area we came to had some Emu. Here’s a picture of an Emu with some people to give you an idea of the size. When I said “Look at those birds!” my son turned to me and laughingly said “Those aren’t birds, Daddy! They’re too big”. He said it in a tone that said “I’m too smart to fall for that one!”

While we were there, there were two weddings actually going on, another wedding party getting pictures taken, and a “Sweet 15” party. This was really interesting. The girl who just turned 15 was in what looked like a wedding dress, and her “date” (I don’t know, he could have been her brother for all I know) was in a tuxedo. There was a full bridal (for lack of a better word) party of young men in tuxedos and young women in surprisingly good looking purple dresses. When I saw it I thought it was a wedding party until I met the limousine driver. He told me it was a Sweet 15 party, which I had never heard of. To my dismay, he began to tell me that it was something that the “blacks and Hispanics, but not us” did. When he said that I honestly didn’t know what to say. That doesn’t happen very often. I wasn’t sure how to respond. There are events that some cultures celebrate and others don’t, but to put it this way seemed wrong.

He suddenly had to go because the party appeared, and he jumped into the limousine and drove off to pick them up. As we walked, a bus (yes, a bus) pulled up to let off a wedding party to get pictures taken. It’s apparently a very popular place for pictures. We started back to my car, and along the way I divested myself of the pocketful of acorns he’d made me hold for him and the stick to which he’d taken a liking. I have to admit it was a pretty cool stick. Looking back, I should have kept it.

I got some pictures, but, even better, I got video of the duck and goose feeding. I think I even got the goose biting his pant leg. Watching that is next on the agenda. Ahhh, for more days like this.