Sunday, August 26, 2012

Trust Me...

Kids are generally very trusting. I suspect it's because they are unaware of the existence of lawyers. This is why, for instance, children have to be taught not to take candy from strangers. Most adults would look warily at a bedraggled stranger sitting on a park bench proffering sweet tarts and move to the other side of the road. The same man could be carrying an axe and kids would still say, "but he's got candy."

In the same way, my kids have an undying trust in me, despite my introducing solid foods far too early and not bothering to put those silly plastic covers on our outlets. My two-year-old daughter in particular relies on my judgment regularly, not having gathered any long term historical data against me.

On a recent trip to the beach, I thought it would be a good idea to sprint down a 100 foot sand dune with her in tow. She readily assented, without considering the implications of my considerably greater size on the force of any crash landing partway down the hill.

At some point I'll have to teach her not to say yes to just any guy who asks her to run down a sand dune with him (and the accompanying jujitsu moves if he attempts to hold her hand). But I was thrilled to have a companion for my sprint. As veteran parents know, you can get away with countless un-adult activities provided there is a toddler present. Our run started well, both of us gaining speed as our bare feet sunk into the warm sand. Within moments, though, I realized that my daughter had switched from running to something akin to skipping. But with her tiny hand enveloped in mine, she no doubt felt secure touching the ground only once every six feet as we hurtled downhill.

I suppose the faceplant was inevitable. My daughter is not a gazelle, and gravity is a poor companion when you're on a steep decline. In one moment I was carrying her through the air as she jumped along with my loping strides. In the next moment, she was picking sand out of her swimsuit.

So while my Father of the Year application will probably be delayed once again, I know my daughter has great memories of the first three-fourths of our run down the sand dune. I just hope she forgets how it ended, so she'll trust me when I take her out dressed as a ballerina in October to ask strangers for candy.