Parenting Blog

An Epic Summer Playdate In The Offing


Those are three pretty rad words, right?


There’s just no way that something or a collection of somethings, having had such a marquee-quality title bestowed upon it, could be sucky in the least.

No. Way.

I left a very cush corporate gig five years ago to have exactly that x, oh I dunno, infinity. And okay, so not every single day since August 22, 2008 has been epic or even playful. They have each been dates on a calendar, that much is certain. Dates that have been pulled away with a brutal swiftness, like Frog ripping away pages of a wall calendar so that Toad will be convinced that spring has come while he slept. A clever trick, that. Life, and whoever is in charge around here, is playing that game too, convincing our children that they must do something called grow up, and forcing us, with endless sounds and buttons and faces on a million televisions, to be less like the children who’s souls we never asked to grow out of.

We have had a loosely assembled string of epic playdates, my daughters and me. I wouldn’t give back the dates, any one of them, for anything at all. And this summer will be no different; epic, playful. The iCal entry the Bear and Mouse are most giddy about will happen in about a month’s time. We will wake early, maybe have a sugary and thoroughly unhealthy road trip kind of breakfast, those are more fun than junk when enjoyed during the birth of an adventure. We’ll drive the 2 1/2 hours out to Knoebel’s Amusement Park, located in nowhere PA, arriving just as the gates swing open. The car will come to rest in a field, and with any luck it will be at least partially dusty, if only for cinematic effect. But there will be no cameras. We’ve done all this before. We will record it all again and forever with our immediate senses and whatever memory we can muster. Water bottles will be inserted into the pockets of ripped, but beloved cargo pants, the rank smell of a sunscreen bath will fill the air around us, from our arms and backs-of-necks every bit as much as from the families unloading their day’s gear on either side of our still wheezing car.

We’ll walk with anxious energy to stand in our first line, where wrists will be wrapped with the promise of unlimited screams, and laughs, memories, and smiles, and more lines to stand in. But I will NOT sully their happiness with my logistical concerns and radical impatience. I will not. Probably.

The day will overflow with kiddie rides, and likely a dozen of the Bear sitting in those metal swings that rise, and flap and flutter, round and round. Flip-flops will sail away like a dream that’ll come true in the palm of my hand. I won’t worry that she will slip out and crash down onto the blacktop. She is a pro. And I believe in everything that fills her heart with light.

The sun will begin its decent and we will depart, our eyes and ears fixed on Longs Park due south in Lancaster, PA where Dawes, our favorite band, will once again perform a free evening show in front of a sea of blankets and callused feet — a tattered quilt of middle-aged humanity and up-too-late children drunk on firefly chasing and cheap ice cream treats.

And it will have been epic.

A few lucky bloggers participated in Hyundai Santa Fe Epic Playdate Weekend in April and I am going to share one of their videos. This, from Oh Happy Day, is striking because it combines both the natural and man-made world, as a young family ziplines in the mighty Redwood forest in California. Brilliant fun, that. And yes, most definitely epic.

Epic Playdate in the Redwoods from Jordan Ferney on Vimeo.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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