Family Outings with Teens


Ooohhh baby are we in for the long haul with Thumper being a tween en force. He is giving us a run for our money, or maybe that is the wrong expression since we don’t have any money at the moment.

As you know I have been dying to get away, anywhere so when Baddy told me that he was going to wake up early Saturday morning to drive down to Rifle to pick up his trailer I informed him that we were all coming with him. Rifle is about as exciting as it sounds but there are a few attractions there that we have never seen, so off we went.

I got a sense of what it would be like to kidnap a child as we picked Thumper up from his sleepover and demanded that he sit his bottom down in the truck and damn well enjoy this family outing that we were taking.

He lay down in the back seat leaving barely any room for his brothers and moaned and groaned about how dull it was going to be to drive to Rifle when he could be mountain biking. Finally I turned around and told him how lucky he was that he had a family that wanted him to be with them and that if he was going to be a good traveler he needed to learn that traveling was all about the journey and not always about the end result.

The journey turned out to not be so grand as our rambunctious kids made a whole lot of unbearable noises in the back seat. When Baddy wasn’t air slapping them as he drove he was tuning all of us out, absent-mindedly playing air guitar to very loud music, his mode of escape. “Isn’t this great?” I asked facetiously.

I should have let Baddy linger in his flashback from his teenage years because bringing him back to reality only gave him credence to yell at the kids and issue two strikes out for bad behavior.? “One more strike and no ice cream for you,”Baddygetting tough.

His no tolerance rules were a hell of a lot more affective than my new age counseling telling them to count to ten whenever they felt angry before they let a word loose that they would regret.

We parked the truck and ate a depressing picnic in the freezing cold weather. In the first ten minutes Feisty-One cried twice and Thumper got reprimanded both times.

The sun peaked out and the walk began putting us all in better spirits. We skipped and sang to The Wizard of Oz until we reached the water falls, which exceeded my expectations. I closed my eyes and was transported to our trip to Hawaii where Baddy and I frolicked about, Blue Lagoon style. The spell was broken when I heard Baddy shouting at the boys to stop throwing rocks down the water fall and possibly knocking somebody out below. That’s all we needed was to be responsible for some innocent tourist’s concussion.

We explored the calcite caves around the falls with our headlamps thinking of Gollum from The Hobbit. I was also transported to Mexico where Baddy and I swam in a Cenote in a cave in Mexico (as you can see, my mode of escape is slipping off to some more pleasant place).

In the end we all had a marvelous time exploring, including Thumper. He even admitted that it was a good day, and then he devoured an enormous ice cream cone and was transformed into a sugared up beast. The kid lives for the one thing that will destroy him one day.

I wasnt happy with his piggish behavior as he lunged for his brother’s cones after finishing his but all I had to do was look at him with my disappointed glare and he crumbled into a sniveling mess and ran out the door.

Thumper cannot recover from these tirades until he feels the love from me again and so I ran after him yelling, You, my little friend, cannot handle sugar!!! The cars were passing by wondering why a grown up women would be chasing an insane beast down the sidewalk but I had been through this before. This is my life, I wanted to yell at them. Im sure yours are no better!!!


12 thoughts on “Family Outings with Teens

  1. Oh Lord, did this ever bring back memories. Funny how those trying car trips (in time) turn into treasured, humorous tales of family journeys.

    Love the photos, especially of Mum flying. 🙂


    1. Darrelyn,

      That is precisely why I love to write about our experiences. It turns an incredibly monotonous and frustrating moment into a humorous account of our pitiful state.


  2. I loved this post. It was so honest. I’ve been so desperate to go on a vacation I’d probabky visit a place called Rifle as well – or any other uninviting name for that matter. It lookslike you all ended up having a great time though :-). Ant on a side note, your pictures are gorgeous, looks like your son inherited the photographer trait.

    Thanks for visiting my blog! If you’re interested we can swap guest blog posts? I’d love to have you talk more about how intimidating it can be to launch a freelance career!


  3. Ah yes, the stuff of which novels are made. Family intricacies, experiences, journeys. I think we’ve all been there, in one way or another. You’ve jogged a few memories!


  4. Ha Ha Ha – I’m laughing out loud with you my dear friend! Yes, I understand completely! I too have sugar monsters! I love that phrase.
    Can’t wait to lovingly tease my kids with it!


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