Exploring the Roads, Part II
If you haven’t read part 1, go check it out.
After making several more random turns, we found ourselves on a highway headed south. Once I explained the concepts of exits and how they were numbered, we decided to pick the number 27, and took that exit.
Ten minutes later (or so), we spotted a community picnic and drove over to join in the fun.
Actually, I don’t know if “community picnic” does this event justice. Held in a huge field next to a school, it had bounce houses, face painters, police cars, a fire truck, even a couple of SWAT trucks.
I’d never seen SWAT trucks before. After the kids finished with the fireman, I herded them over.
My oldest didn’t believe me. “Those aren’t policemen, daddy.”
“Yes, they are,” I answered. “They’re like the police’s army. Those trucks are like tanks. They’re bullet proof, and see the little holes in the side? That’s where they can shoot out at bad guys.”
My youngest reached up to hold my hand.
His older brother’s eyes widened. “Really? Are they bad guys?”
“No! They’re the good guys. Come on, let’s check it out.”
They had a great display set up. Shields and various bars (presumably used to batter down doors) were scattered about for people to see. They even had a little flat robot that ran on tractor treads. When I asked an officer about it, he opened up the briefcase that controlled it and showed us how it worked – with its camera and microphone and everything.
The kids were more fascinated by the trucks, though. They climbed in the back and sat down. I could see their eyes losing focus as they started to imagine all sorts of adventures. They ran back and forth, peering out the gunholes, examining the turret, sitting on the benches and holding on as if the truck were bouncing around.
I couldn’t resist. I snuck quietly away from the truck, walked around the other side, and jumped out from behind it, my fingers forming the classic gun position. “Bang,” I shouted. “Bang!”
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “don’t sneak up on armed SWAT officers and pretend to shoot them.”
You’re thinking that because you’re smarter than I am.
My boys practically jumped out of their skins when I “shot” them. Then they collapsed into laughing.
The guy in the SWAT outfit didn’t jump. Instead, he turned. In fact, I think the word “spun” might be in order. His hand didn’t actually draw his sidearm, but it came mighty close. His eyes took in the scene – me with my fingers pointed at two hysterically giggling boys – and relaxed. I smiled, hoping that amidst everything else he hadn’t noticed my “oh crap, what did I just do?” expression.
Our eyes met and he smiled back.
And yes, I’m pretty sure he noticed.