We love our home in Florida. It’s a great place to go to decompress and leave the real world behind. I’m not suggesting the real world doesn’t follow us, technology and commitments see to that. However, when we’re away we’re not slaves to our blackberry and telephone. It’s a great place do as little as possible, and that’s great unless you bring your 10 year old along. Our home in Florida is in an established neighborhood. We’re in a gated community, right on a golf course, an adult play ground. But it can be a little challenging if you’re trying to keep a 10 year old occupied.
Finally, and I do mean finally, a younger couple moved into the neighbourhood about six months ago, and they have two young boys. The boys hit it off immediately when they first met. True story – I was driving home one night when I saw a boy motoring along on his scooter. I continued on home, parked my car and told Mack, our 10 year old, to jump in the golf cart with me because we’re going out to make friends. So I’m driving around the neighbourhood, and I spot the kid on his scooter. I catch up to him and said, “Hey, what’s your name?… Hi Tyler, I would like to introduce you to Mack. You two should be friends, starting now”. Mack jumped on his scooter and the boys were gone for hours. Mission accomplished. Sometimes it gets loud because they seem to want to hang out in our pool but that’s okay. So Mack was so looking forward to this trip because he was going to hook-up with his Florida buddies. Then the unthinkable happens. His friends have gone away for March break! That means no buddies, and a week to spend with adults.
Mack’s got a few options. My parents are down here for 3 months, and they love spending time with him. But then again their idea of fun is to hug him all day and squeeze his cheeks. What 10 year old doesn’t love that? His mom? She’s amazing; she can turn the most mundane activity into an adventure. They love spending time together but she needs a break. Then there’s me. My activities usually revolve around sports. Here’s a conversation I had with him a couple of days ago – “Hey bud, I think we should catch a ball game. The Red Sox are playing in Fort Myers, the Rays are in Port Charlotte and the Orioles are in Sarasota. Where do you want to go? What? Legoland? Sure, and maybe on the way home we can stop at Dorks R Us”. So off to Legoland we went. Brace yourself, there’s not much for adults to do at Legoland. Sure there are some roller-coasters but nothing close to the rides at Disney. The measure of a good roller-coaster is if you’re concerned about controlling your bladder. You know that feeling you get when you go down the first hill and you’re thinking that was close, almost some seepage; nothing close to that on the rides at Legoland. But that’s okay, Mack was in heaven. He had a wonderful day, and we did okay being a buddy understudy.
Yesterday Mack went to the beach with my parents. The poor lad came home with sore cheeks. Today? Off to Tampa to watch the Leafs and Lightning play. That seemed like a good idea about a month ago. Tomorrow? Christ, his buddies have to come home at some point. Oh god, what if they moved away? We just assumed they were away for March break. I better jump in the golf cart and go on a scouting mission.
Until next time,