My Three Sons

My sopping wet middle child

After dinner at our favorite local spot in Steamboat, we decided to take a walk down by the Yampa River with our friends. The river is lower than usual this year due to a milder than usual winter, so when the boys decided they wanted to walk down to the bank and inspect it more closely we thought that would be fine. There wouldn’t be any kayakers or rafters going through. They ran around, threw a few rocks in, and then headed across the bridge to view the natural springs on the other side. When we came back to the river, Jessie and I told the boys to stay dry. Wading in a bit was fine but if we wanted to hit Fuzziwig’s Candy Factory on the way home they would need to be dry. With that warning out of the way, Jessie and I decided to run into the library for a couple minutes.

While in the library, we were discussing how the husbands had given us a hard time for suggesting that the boys stay dry. No matter what the situation, we always ended up being the bad guys.

“It’s summer vacation. It won’t hurt if they get wet,” Jeff said.

“I’m fine with them getting a bit wet,” Jessie replied. “I just don’t want them falling in and floating down river.”

“It’s cold,” I said, getting Jessie’s back. “And it’s a long walk back to the car in soaking wet clothes.”

“They’d be fine,” Steve said.

Men. They never think of the little details that go along with the big ones. Yes. The boys would have fun in the river splashing around. No. It wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if they fell in. We understood that. But, if they got soaked in the river, we would have cold, wet children. The sun was hidden behind rain clouds and the wind was picking up. We had at least a half mile walk back to where we parked the cars before dinner. And then, once we got there, we’d have wet boys, no towels, and therefore wet leather seats. It just wouldn’t be an optimal situation and, as moms, we’ve had our fair share of unpleasant situations so we work to avoid them where possible. Dads? Well, dads usually don’t think that way.

We were in the library for all of maybe 4 minutes total and as we walked back to the banks of the river, I could see Joe full on in the water. I’m not talking standing up and wet to his shins in the water. He was actually under the water up to his neck. The husbands were standing approximately four feet from the river, chatting it up like a couple old ladies. Were they kidding me? Jeff and Jessie’s boys were every bit as wet as Joe. Luke was the only one who had managed to stay dry.

“What happened here?” I asked.

Joe yelled up from the river. “Mom…we decided to get in.”

“So I see,” I replied. I tossed a sideways glare at hubby.

“Seriously? We were in there for less than five minutes. All we asked was that they stay mostly dry.”

“They’re fine,” he said.

“They’re going to get cold,” I said.

“It’s not a big deal,” he replied.

I rolled my eyes.

Now, to keep consistent with what I had said, I had to tell the boys we would not be going to the candy store. Luke was heartbroken because he had actually chosen to listen to us. (Have I mentioned that Luke is my favorite?) We dragged them out of the water and started walking back to the car. The boys tried to persuade us that they were dry enough to go into the candy store, but Jessie and I stayed resolute. Our husbands tried to convince us that since the boys were no longer dripping that it would be fine. It would have been fine, but that was not the point. We did not go into Fuzziwig’s. We walked back to our car and drove home and the boys got no dessert.

Sometimes I swear I don’t have two kids. I have three kids. The oldest one is the hardest to manage. He doesn’t listen. Ever.



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