"Kids are so much fun aren't they?" Blah, blah, blah. Cliche, cliche, after false, cheesy cliche.
My daughter really is 'the cutest', and she's brilliant to boot. Generally, she makes being a father incredibly fun and exciting. It really "melts my heart" (tears and a smile-frown) when she randomly asks to go for a hike, or when she shakes a leg to a good song. Like every parent, I love seeing her fall in love with the things I most enjoy. But she's also a kid. She eats Miracle-Gro and colors on the couch.
Our recent daddy-daughter road trip to Moab was a lot of fun. She read books, sang songs, teased me from the back seat of the car, screamed with excitement when we set the tent up, hiked a mile on her own two legs and was generally adorable. Then, when I wasn't looking, she put about $1.20 of change in the car's CD player.
After an incredibly "cute" timeout, and some therapist approved deep breathing, I found some inner peace. The aux port on the stereo was still working and I have most of my music on my phone. A small victory over time, anger and words better left unsaid... But a victory none the less.
Unfortunately it wouldn't last. Half an hour later, one of those rattling coins caused a short, killing both the stereo and the power locks. Neither issues could be solved by simply replacing fuses. It made me laugh for about 2 minutes. Then the reality of the situation settled in and we were left with hours of silent driving. Things really could have been worse, but keeping cool isn't always easy.
The key to staying calm? Realizing I'm not in control of everything that happens around me and of course... Endless hours of bike riding. Not to avoid these situations, but to have an outlet for the rage they produce. When stuff like this happens, I know I can bottle up all those negative feelings, bury them deep inside and let 'em loose when the pedals turn. There's nothing more relieving than sunshine, solitude and singletrack.
Bikes: the world's most effective form of therapy.