Bad Advice for Venturing with Kids


I am a venturer of the highest order.  I am a charter member of a special band of merry folks, men and women, that like to take adventures at the drop of a hat.  A slight breeze can fan my adventure fire.  This can be a challenge to manage on a personal level.  Most people don’t like that much adventure in there lives, and being a parent tends to extinguish the flame most of the time.  There’s always something else to be done as a parent and householder.  But not this Saturday.  55 degrees at the end of December in Indiana demands adventure to seized.  Carpe Deim!

Oh but the kids.  Damn. I had 4 in my care and my lovely bride was with her family in another city junk store crawling.  So I selected the CONTAIN, RELEASE, SLEEP (CRS) method of kid management.   This entails containing your kids in a car for awhile and traveling to a remote location where you release them like wild animals.  This is followed by them sleeping in the car on the way home.

Now where to go?  Shades State Park of course.  Google says its 27 minutes from our house.  That’s about perfect with kids.  They play about 9 songs on an iPhone and we’re there.

So whenever I venture,  I don’t really like to plan anything.  I decide where I’d like to go or at least a general area then I go.  I might make sure I have my phone and my credit card.  That’s about the only way out of the kind of emergencies I would find myself in.  Any other emergency would require assistance from the EMT’s.  But I do have kids in tow, and the soft feminine voice in my head urges me to plan ahead.  No scratch that.  It’s my lovely brides voice in my head.  I pack water, juice, extra shoes, extra clothes, extra coats, pull-ups, wet whips and dorito’s.  I’m scared of her at times so I listened to the voice this time, but if it was just me taking this adventure, maybe not.

We had no plan but we were prepared.  First trail we saw we took.  Beautiful.  The silver cascade falls are incredible.  We went a little off trail to a nice little spot where a storm had toppled a small tree.  The older kids did dude things.  They brought their knives and they whittled and chopped sticks.


The 7 and 3 yr olds wandered and played. I tried to convince them that fairy’s lived in these woods.  And they built their houses in the trunks of trees.  They went looking’.  I sat on a log and puffed on my electronic cigarette a little bit then placed it back in my breast pocket.  I grounded my self.  Brought in the energy of place.  Deep breaths Vince. Peace. Quite. Organic.  But kid energy is infectious.


We played there then went back to the playground picnic area.  More fun.  Dudes went back in the woods and little ones wanted Daddy to push them and help them up and down.  Of course I had to make the other parents sweat a little bit.  My middle son is thriving with Down’s Syndrome, and he broke his arm at school a few months ago on a slide of course.  He still has his cast on.  It should be off next week.  But the poor other parents, they see him and feel a twinge of empathy and love for him immediately.  Suckers.  He reads it so quickly and has them picking him up and placing him at the top of the slide.  I just laugh from far away, then I wander up and to take over.  They can’t help themselves.  He plays every parental sympathy note there is.  They give me a look I recognize.  They don’t get it.  And they don’t need to right now.

But now it’s getting cold.  As I told them, father sun was flirting with mother earth today.  She was just starting to warm up to him, when he ran out of time. Back to the car we go.  Racing with the young ones of course. Now the sleep portion of the management plan kicks in.  I only lost one today.  To much older boy energy in the car today, they all wanted loud music.  I’m good with that.