The Saga of the Hat
Those who have been following daddy tales have undoubtedly started to notice that I am frequently uncertain as to what to do next. Being a dad seems to involve a ridiculous amount of confusion, guesswork, and improvisation. Aggravation, frustration, and fatigue are every day occurences when you’re dealing with a couple of toddlers.
This is not to say that I’m complaining. Just the opposite, in fact. Let me explain.
Last year, we took a trip to a Leu Gardens (local botanical gardens on a fairly minor scale). As we were wandering about, we found our way to a wooden pier jutting into a lake.
We walked out and were looking across the lake when C lost his hat over the balcony. It’s a pretty cool hat and C was very upset.
“My Hat! My Hat! Oh No! My Hat!”
Trying to avoid going for a swim, I ran over and grabbed a 10 ft. section of PVC pipe that I’d seen lying on the side of the trail. I’m guessing it was going to be used for more drainage, but to me it was just a really big stick. I stuck it over the side and tried to catch the hat on the tip.
“Oh No! Catch it, Daddy! Catch it!”
I wasn’t quick enough. Despite my dad’s help – and that of a passing stranger who had witnessed the whole drama – the hat floated away towards a muddy little peninsula.
“Oh No! It’s going away! My Hat!”
Committed now, I ran back to shore, jumped the fence and ventured out on to the peninsula. Note to readers: don’t do this yourselves. I didn’t know this at the time, but going out there was a very bad idea. It turns out that an alligator lives there, and yes, he is quite large. Fortunately, he was off doing something else when I invaded his home to rescue my son’s hat.
“Be careful daddy! Be careful!”
After plodding through some really, really muddy terrain, I managed to use my improvised PVC pole and rescue the hat. As I climbed back up over the fence and on to the pier, C came running over to me.
“Yay, Daddy! Yay, Daddy! Yay!”
I handed him the hat with a smile, and started trying to kick some of the mud off my pants.
He tried to put it on, but his mom (and grandma) wouldn’t let him. It was too dirty, they said. You couldn’t put that on your head. Too dirty. They wanted to take it away entirely, but I exerted some of my newly won hero status, and he was allowed to hold it.
Yep. That’s me. I’m daddy.