If you follow me on Twitter, you would have seen that I posted a bunch of pictures to Facebook this weekend (stupid auto-connect dealie between facebook and twitter is stupid), one of which is to the right here. As is usual on our weekends together, our family got out into the world and, well, got to do something a little different than usual. As has been mentioned here before, my wife recently began running. This weekend was the weekend of the Color Dash 5K, hosted by my very own favorite local non-profit, The Eau Claire Children’s Theatre.
I have heard so many good things about similar runs from friends of mine in the past, that even I found myself tempted to run. Luckily I was in charge of the kids, so I was able to keep from making that mistake.
However, soon after the race started, I happened to notice one of the color stations (they have spots set up every kilometer along the route for the runners to get blasted with handfuls of color) not too far from where the race started. Since we were stuck with very little to do, outside of playing on playground equipment or whatever, I dragged the kids down the little hill and asked if my tikes could join in the fun. A friend of mine happened to be volunteering at this spot, which aided in me building up the courage to ask, although I have a hard time believing anyone would have turned down my adorable children (or anyone for that matter…I mean, these were volunteers who were placed there to throw color…I don’t think they had too many regulations).
My kids had a blast. We were at the fourth kilometer mark, so we had a while until my wife would make it to our location, but since they released everybody in waves, my wife starting at least fifteen minutes after the first wave did, we had plenty of time to get our skills together. As you can see from above, we were stuck in a mustard gas-esque haze. Well, mustard gas-esque in that it was yellow…and that instead of forming giant blisters, it make us cough from time to time.
Once my wife made it to us, resulting in my son chasing her for several feet due to not getting to throw color at her yet, we ran back up the hill to the blue color station where we waited again to hit my wife with the finish line’s blue color. This time I actually asked someone I didn’t know if they were cool with my kids helping out :-). And I don’t have any completely inappropriate chemical weapons to liken this cloud to. Perhaps if we had found the orange color area…
Anyways, as I’ve already laid out, it was a ton of fun. My kids are still colorful from the experience (although mostly green) and I think they both could have sat and thrown color into the air for another couple of hours. The event raised almost 50,000 dollars for an organization that I love, and we got to have a ton of fun doing something new outside. Overall, it was a great time.
But, that time is ending soon. Well, the color thing, that’s done. The time of doing fun things in the outdoors is ending soon. Sure, there’s stuff to do outside during the winter. There’s ice-skating, sledding, building snowmen, etc. But, for some reason as the days get shorter, I find myself feeling more and more anxious about the end. Wishing we had done more. Wishing we had more time. My brain sees the end of yet another warm month as the nearing of the prison sentence that will keep us indoors for the next six months.
Of course, my son is older now, more willing to experience a bit of discomfort for the sake of fun (he absolutely hated being outside last winter). My daughter is ready for some real sledding hills and has last year’s ice-skating experience to build on. And I’ve finally reached a point where I don’t absolutely hate winter and would like to build a snow man, and a snow fort, and a snow mountain, and a snow…
So perhaps I shouldn’t be concerned about the coming (wintry) storm.
But I am. I like being outside and feeling comfortable. I hate wearing 16 layers of clothing and still having that one spot where cold air still manages to seep in.
All the same, I’m making the promise this year to keep from allowing winter to kill my outdoor fun. I just hope I can keep to it.
Have fun out there!