My kids were playing pirate, making newspaper pirate hats, cardboard cutlasses, and sundry swashbuckling supplies. When it came to designing their flag, a discussion of the ensign ensued. One wanted a traditional Jolly Roger. Another thought a scull and crossbones was ugly and lobbied for what she called a “Dolly Roger,” a flag featuring a pretty dolly as its centerpiece. From their deliberations it was unclear whether they intended to board ships on the high seas to plunder them, or provide them with snack cakes.
The next morning breakfast was consumed (so to speak) with a new passion: brainstorming best practices for the design and construction of leprechaun traps.
And all that was thrown overboard when we were walking to school and they found curled pieces of birch bark on the ground. “Look!” one daughter exclaimed as she picked it up, “gnome paper!” They harvested all the birch bark they could find and put it in my coat pockets to save for them until after school, when they intended to write messages for the gnomes and leave them in the gnome village they are sure must exist within our hedge.
Later in the day when I was heading out the door to the grocery store I grabbed my list off the table. I was already perambulating the produce aisle when I finally took a look at the list, and only then discovered a note which had been surreptitiously scrived by little hands sometime during the morning bustle: “I love Dad.” The lettuces seemed a little greener and fluffier after that.
That night after dinner it was a beautiful spring evening so the kids wanted to have an outdoor “Painting Party.” We took our watercolor sets out onto the front steps and painted until the glory of the sunset stilled our brushes and we ended up just sitting and savoring in wide-eyed wonder until the last of the blazing crimson faded into “dark, sacred night” (What a Wonderful World.)
Kids are fun.
I’m not saying every day is all tea party pirates and sunset painting parties. There’s the other stuff, too. My sister emailed: “I’m going into the kids’ room. If you don’t hear from me in a week send in a search party. I’ll probably be buried under an avalanche of laundry.”
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As the saying goes, “Into every garden some dirty socks must fall.” Or something like that. And on occasion you may find all your tulip bulbs dug up (“Dad, look what I found! Potatoes!”)
But for all that, I’ve still got to put in a word for the pure fun of having kids. Life on board the Dolly Roger is always an adventure, and a joyous one at that!
Copyright 2017 Jake Frost
About the Author
Jake Frost is an attorney, husband, and father of four grade-school aged kids. He’s the author of five books: Catholic Dad: (Mostly) Funny Stories of Faith, Family, and Fatherhood; Catholic Dad 2: More (Mostly) Funny Stories of Faith, Family, and Fatherhood; From Dust to Stars: Poems by Jake Frost; Victory! Poems by Jake Frost; and a children’s book he also illustrated called The Happy Jar.