Given my job as a reporter, and Hubs’ role as a photographer, our kids have been going on assignment with us since their baby days.
They’ve been to the aftermath of several tornadoes. Last week, they attended their first perp walk. They know that on Election Night, you get free pizza in the newsroom.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Yes, they’re exposed to things that other children aren’t.
But as a result, they’ve learned compassion, integrity, tenacity, and what it means to put yourself out there for the benefit for others.
They are old enough now to understand many of the stories that Hubs and I bring home.
Photography fascinates the E-man. And Tootie — well, she’s filled dozens of notebooks with her stories and journal entries.
Times have been tough lately for newspapers. And for journalists.
But after an invigorating weekend out of town, mingling with journalists from eight states, I came back rejuvenated.
I believe in what we do. I am proud of what we do.
And so are our children.
I love spring.
Because it’s a prelude to summer and sandals and sunny, lazy days. Because we’re this close to firefly season. Because it’s flip-flop time, baby!
Camping at Petit Jean State Park.
And now for the latest weirdness in the Frye household:
It seems that Bandit, our big red Aussie, has developed a rather intense fondness for this ugly concrete doorstop. He curls up around it, pushes it around the deck when he chooses another spot in which to sun himself and even turns it over so that he can rest his chin on its head.
I’m still trying to capture a photo of Bandit AND the duck, but he apparently senses my intent to embarrass him.
So this week, I’m in Wynne, camped out in a hotel and covering a murder trial.
The first clue that something odd was occurring back home surfaced in an email from Moody Mom.
I had sent her a thank-you email for watching Tootie last night while Hubs worked late.
Moody Mom’s reply: You are welcome. She talked about Bigfoot and did research on where you can take her to find him.
Awhile ago, during my nightly phone call to Hubs, he blurted: “Did you know Tootie thinks that Bigfoot is in Van Buren and she wants us to take her camping there next weekend so that she can catch him?”
“What’s with this sudden fascination with Bigfoot?” I asked after telling him about Moody Mom’s email.
“I don’t know!” Hubs said. “She wants to take a group of her friends and set a trap in the woods. She’s absolutely convinced that they’ll be able to catch him?”
“Um. Dare I ask how she proposes to do this?”
“She wants to set out some food and drop a cage over him. Do you know that tonight she told me that she knows what Bigfoot’s poop looks like?”
More proof that when I leave town, strange things happen in my absence.
Of course, I may have mentioned, once upon a time, to the children that I have always believed there’s something lurking in the waters of Loch Ness.
So during my recent spring break jaunt down to my folks’ home in Texas, my sister told me about this new place she thought the kids would love: Jumpstreet, an indoor trampoline park.
“Sounds great!” I said.
So off we went.
Upon arriving, I was so impressed by the setup that I went ahead and got an wristband for myself too. I mean, why should my offspring have all the fun? And why would I pass up an opportunity to embarrass them?
My sister watched skeptically as I bounced.
And then she raced off to get her own wristband.
Jen and I had a blast. But we quickly learned that jumping on a trampoline as adults — and after a couple of pregnancies to boot — differs greatly from jumping on a trampoline during those limber days of childhood.
Not only were there a few near misses when it came to injuries, we experienced a most unpleasant realization …
You see, despite many potty breaks, we still found it necessary to bounce with our legs pressed together, for fear of embarrassing ourselves rather than the children.
Because after a couple of kids? Well, the internal organs just ain’t where they used to be.
And now, I present to you a video of my trampoline race with the E-man.
Because truly, I have no shame.