Sunday afternoon, Mike and I bundled up the kids, threw the dogs in the back of the truck, then the kids crawled in after them, and we headed off to go "toolie hopping" - country speak for "exploring the countryside." After considering our various toolie locations, we settled on taking the back road to Woodruff.
We bumped along the dirt road for some time until we pulled off to explore a wash. Turns out, it was the same wash where Grandma and Grandpa Fraley had stashed a geocache for Tanner several years ago, and the kids were delighted when they found the cache and began rummaging through it to see what had been left in the box in the years since it had been stuck under a rock near the wash. Reading the enclosed journal, Adam learned one of his friends found the cache in 2007 with her dad. Her dad died in an accident last spring, so Adam was looking forward to the chance to remind her of what was probably their own fun family time not so long ago.
Off we all went down the wash, skating on little slabs of ice, exploring crevasses in the rock, wending our way to the Little Colorado River bed, finding shells on the rocks, following various animal tracks. Mike and I climbed up to the ridge above the wash and watched the kids goofing around, and commented that it was nice that our kids thoroughly enjoyed these simple little outings - no fancy destinations or big entry fees. Just knockin' around the high desert. I said it was nice that there wasn't some sullen kid with their earphones in, rolling their eyes because they were way above this nonsense. We're glad these kids enjoy the simple pleasures.
Flash to last night, while the kids were doing the dishes. Adam mentioned he'd found a carton of eggs in the fridge (this was noteworthy because we'd needed eggs over the weekend for a recipe but he didn't see them then.)
"Don't use those," I said. "I don't know how long they've been in there. I picked up fresh ones today."
His eyes lit up. "Hey, then can we throw the eggs at each other?" Something on my face must have revealed my revulsion at the thought.
Mistaking my expression for a concern over thrift and frugality and wasting the eggs he amended, "If we have the egg fight in the garden [where the eggs could be used for composting], then would it be ok?" All the kids joined in, pleading; a few were jumping up and down at the prospect.
"Oh, then ok," I replied out loud. As I turned to walk away, I silently added, "Ya big freaks."
Maybe we better plan a trip to the Valley for a zoo visit or ball game soon. I fear the kids are becoming just a little too easy to please. By the way, I haven't warned them yet about the pain potential in a raw egg fight. I'm deciding whether I should let it be one of life's little lessons. We'll see.
Love from the farm,