Keep Calm and Color On

It’s been a long weekend.  Well, a long Saturday anyway but I have to do the same thing all over again tomorrow so I may as well say it now and get it over and done with.  I’m on Dad Duty again and it’s exhausting – like, totally exhausting – seeing as how I have to keep her entertained every single nanosecond of the entire day until either she passes out from the sheer magnificence of having so much fun or I completely flip out and, well, let’s not go there.  Anyway, it’s been a busy day.

As part of today’s busy day we visited a free family event as part of the local Santa Claus Parade celebrations.  The event included Christmas tree ornament decorating, writing letters to Santa, stringing together popcorn garlands, singing Christmas carol, games, activities, clowns, elves and what have you, so as far as nine-year-old girls go it was the bomb-diggidy.  For grown up dads…not so much.  But regardless, I do my best to put on the premise of having fun as it’s all about her at the end of the day.  If she’s happy – I’m happy.  Kinda.

So while she runs around breathless doing crafty stuff and playing party games and otherwise having the time of her life I get to stand there along the wall like a schmuck with all the other forgotten about dads.  We were like our own Island of Misfit Toys.  Fun?  Not.  Making things worse is that I have absolutely nothing in common with the local dads. I don’t hunt, I don’t fish and I don’t know a monkey wrench from a torx screw.  Shit, I can barely the make and model of my own car on a good day.  Remember, my own hobby requires my being dressed in spandex, wetsuits or tights most of the time.  So, yeah, there’s little common ground there.  Instead, I decide to waltz on over to one of the craft tables and do something I haven’t done in, maybe, thirty years…color.  Yes, with colored pencils n’ shit.

And you know what?  It was totally calming…relaxing…enjoyable even.  Sure I was sitting there at a table with half a dozen strange little girls giving me the leary eyeball, but who cares? There was something entirely hypnotic and strangely therapeutic about it.  Turns out I dig me some coloring.  A grease fire could have broken out and I wouldn’t have cared in the slightest.  Mrs. Santa herself could have been performing a Tijuana-style donkey show with Rudolph at the coffee counter and I wouldn’t have given two ginger snaps.  I was in sweet, heavenly bliss.

And so it went for the next hour or so…

My masterpiece

My masterpiece

“Can I get my face painted?”

“Sure.  Hey, you over there…pass me the Poppy Red.” 

Keep coloring…

“Can I have some more candy?”

“Whatever. Do you see the Periwinkle Blue anywhere?”

Keep coloring…

“That strange man over there with the funny sideburns wants to know if I can go eat cookies in his van.”

“Knock yourself out.”

Keep coloring…

“I’m bored.  Can we go now?”

“Shh.  Can’t you see I’m coloring?”

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