The title of this post is a bit misleading. My wife and I aren’t really big on “Parent’s Day” celebrations: Years of Latter-day Saint “all women are mothers” (read: motherhood is the most important part of womanhood) Sunday services grated on us during our years of infertility, and even now that we are parents (and aren’t practicing Latter-day Saints—though my current denomination certainly isn’t immune from a cringeworthy celebration of parents either), it’s just not a thing we do.
However, it just so happened that this Father’s Day weekend was full of fun stuff, so I thought I’d write about some of it here.
In keeping with the “this really isn’t a Father’s Day post” vibe that I’ve started, most of the fun that I had this weekend was before Father’s Day itself.
morning bike ride
Saturday morning, my parents came down to join us for a bike ride on the Lexington Legacy Trail, which is probably the best of the greenway trails that we have around here. Even though my parents had the 60-minute drive, we were the ones who were late because I was trying to figure out how to get all of our bikes up there. We have two bike racks, and one of them theoretically holds three bikes, but it’s such a pain to work with that I ended up taking the front wheel off of kiddo’s bike so that it would fit in our car and then used the nice, easy two-bike rack for the adult bikes.
When we made it there, the porta-potty at the trailhead had blown over in the previous night’s storms, so there was a quick excursion to the nearby Kentucky Horse Park for some while the rest of us got ready to go. Once we were all ready, we did about 5.2 miles together, which is the longest that kiddo has ever ridden. She was quite the champ and had a good time—especially considering that she’d gotten up early to go out with mom for donuts. My dad is a triathlete, and my mom regularly bikes with him, so we’ve been meaning since kiddo got her current bike to do a ride together, and this didn’t disappoint.
We had a late lunch of sweet potato black bean quesadillas, which was delicious. Of course, as is traditional, our meeting up resulted in an overabundance of donuts. I don’t really eat donuts all that often, but when we get together with my parents, we buy them donuts from a local place and they bring down donuts from a local place, and we all end up eating a lot of donut quarters so that everyone can try all the different kinds.
One of the few disappointments of the bike ride is that for the past couple of weeks, we’d been trying to pick up a ridealong bike that someone on Facebook was giving away. We wanted to take it, they were willing to give it, but it was just taking forever to coordinate things. I’m glad that we got to give kiddo a chance to do a ride on her own power, but as awesome of a cyclist as she is, there’s no getting around the fact that we do shorter and slower rides with her than we could if adults were doing all the pedaling. If the person giving away the ridealong bike had been more communicative, we could have tried out the ridealong bike instead. While that didn’t work, my wife did get a Facebook message on our drive home from the Legacy Trail apologizing for the lack of communication and saying we could go pick it up today. So, I went with my dad to pick up the ridealong and get it ready for use.
After that, kiddo was eager to play Apples to Apples Junior, one of four games that we’d picked up from another Facebook transaction a couple of weeks earlier. We’d tried all the other games (with varying levels of satisfaction but hadn’t done Apples to Apples yet, and kiddo was eager to try. I have never loved this game, but it’s only recently that kiddo has learned to read and opened up the possibility of playing this kind of game, and playing with the five of us turned out to be really fun.
We then went out to our favorite local Indian restaurant—we’d already had it in mind, but my parents had been hoping for it, too, since they don’t have a good local restaurant. I tried a paneer dish, and I don’t think that I like paneer quite as much as tofu, but I’m trying to up my meatless game, so it seemed worth a try. After coming home, kiddo challenged my parents to Mario Kart, which… they have not really ever played, so the results were pretty fun (though maybe not for them). We said goodbye, gave kiddo a much needed bath, and put her to bed.
After she went to bed, I had one of my favorite events of the weekend. As a general rule, I am not great about keeping up with friends from past parts of my life, but over the past several years, I’ve done pretty well at texting back and forth with a friend in Salt Lake City that I knew when we were both Latter-day Saint missionaries in France and Switzerland. Neither of us is practicing anymore, but a mission is the kind of formative experience that can create lifelong relationships, and our shared nerdery and Francophilia has certainly helped with that.
A few weeks ago, we got to talking about “actual play” podcasts we were both listening to. He bemoaned that we didn’t live closer to each other so that we could play some TTRPGs together (he never has, and while I’m kind of sort of part of a D&D group, I don’t play as much as I’d like). I suggested that we could use roll20 to do a GM-less campaign of the fantastic Ironsworn TTPRG together. We spent 2.5 hours doing worldbuilding and imagining our characters, and it was a blast. I’ve tried to do a few solo Ironsworn and Starforged campaigns over the past few years, but none of them has ever stuck, and I think doing a co-op campaign is exactly what I need to really get into this system. Really excited about the world we’ve built and the characters we’re working on.
As I mentioned above, we don’t really do a lot of Father’s Day-specific things, but there were still some highlights of the weekend that happened on the day itself.
morning bike ride—again!
Now that we had a ridealong bike, I suggested to kiddo that we give it a spin that morning. We did nearly six miles going to, through, and from a local park. We do a lot of bike rides there and often stop at one of the playgrounds for a few minutes and were happy to do that. It was great to ride at a speed and a distance that kiddo usually wouldn’t be able to do, but she had a lot of fun pedaling the ridealong and enjoying doing a couple of loops around one of the main areas of the park. The ridealong is definitely a keeper for rides like this—in fact, when we visit my parents for the July 4th weekend, we’ll be bringing it with so we can try some of the trails near where they live.
This week, church was… fine. We live in Lexington, but the closest Community of Christ congregation is in Louisville, so we’re on Zoom most weeks, and kiddo usually watches with me. This week, she spent most of the time playing on her own while I watched the service. I like sharing church with kiddo, but since we’re an interfaith family, it’s important to all of us that it never be something that she’s required to do with me. At any rate, I was also doing some doodling around making tweaks to my website, so I wasn’t entirely paying attention either. It didn’t help that the sermon was on the Elijah story, parts of which I like, but other parts of which involve wholesale slaughter of priests from rival religions, so a non-critical reading of the text (rather than pushing back on scripture) bounces off of me. Service was still nice, though.
more Apples to Apples
Kiddo wanted to play a lot of Apples to Apples today, which wasn’t quite as fun as with a larger group, but we still had some fun.
catching up on journaling
I had created placeholder entries from our recent camping adventures in Day One but still hadn’t filled them in, so I spent a chunk of the afternoon writing about that experience. It was the sort of journaling session that makes me glad that I keep a journal—writing about the camp we attended helped me remember some of the great experiences we had and will help me continue to remember them in future months, years, and decades. We had a great three days, and it’s likely I’ll blog about them at some point.
In recent weeks, I’ve enjoyed the in-development “planet exploration and survival” game MewnBase, which I picked up in one of the itch.io bundles that I’ve purchased over the years. A recent update broke the load game interface, which made kiddo upset (I’ve mostly been playing with her), but things are back to normal now, so we spent some time Sunday afternoon playing MewnBase for the first time in a while.
making up dreams
After MewnBase and before dinner, kiddo insisted on playing a goofy game where we made up weird dreams that we were having and cracked up about them. It was essentially an exercise in surrealist improvisation, but I think we both enjoyed ourselves.
None of these events were intentionally a Father’s Day event (except maybe the Sunday morning bike ride), but all-in-all, it was a fun weekend.
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