Totally Quotable Arlo: In Charge Edition

There are a few dozen things I probably should be writing about tonight, but I don’t feel much up to it. I was at a friend’s house earlier this evening, when he unexpectedly invited me to check out his hidden scotch vault, and all of the pent up anger, which I was going to use to fuel tonight’s rant, just kind of evaporated. So, instead, I’ve decided to share a few photos from earlier today, as I hung out with Arlo. I don’t do it as often as I probably should, but I let him call the shots all morning long, and things went pretty well. We built boats to sail down the Huron, spent about an hour picking up antique bits of glass from the river bed, and then headed to Greenvield Village, where we rode Model Ts and sipped lemonade into the afternoon. It was a good day. And it was a good reminder, no matter how much I might rant here, that it’s still possible to grab moments of happiness, even as the world collapses around us.

Just a few quick related notes… 1. If you’re looking for something to do, now’s a great time, as the water levels along the Huron are pretty low, to pick up trash from the riverbed. Arlo and I probably worked at it for about 45 minutes, and walked away with over two pounds of antique, broken bottles. 2. If you’ve never been, the annual Old Car Festival at Greenfield Village is pretty awesome. Arlo and I had the good fortune, among other things, to strike up a conversation with a former Nissan exec, who proceeded to take us for a ride around the park in his 1924 Model TT Boyer/Oberchain fire truck, encouraging us to crank the siren and ring the bell the whole time, which Arlo loved. 3. Arlo, as evidenced in the quote above, apparently appreciated the fact that I told him that we could do whatever he wanted today. He said this to me at Greenvield Village, as we made our way from the carousel down to the pond by the covered bridge, where he wanted to look for frogs. All too often, I go to places with a set idea as to what we need to see and accomplish, and don’t just let things unfold naturally. It’s nice, every once in a while, to just say, “OK, kid, what do you want to do?” I need to remember that. Speaking of which, if you’re ever at Greenfield Village when they’re playing baseball by 1867 rules, I’d recommend just sitting down for an hour or two and watching, even if it means missing out on seeing the glass tube containing Thomas Edison’s last breath, or visiting Hitler’s childhood home. 4. There was a cake walk at this year’s Old Car Festival, and Arlo won a lemon chiffon cake, which I then had to carry around under my arm for the rest of the day. Thankfully, though, it was pretty light, and got lighter as we continued to nibble away at it. 5. If you’re ever looking for a fee activity to do with your kids, building boats out of sticks, bark, and fallen tree branches is always a lot of fun. You can generally find small vines and the like to lash the pieces together, and clam shells make nice furniture. And, not only is it fun to launch them and chase them as they go down the river, but, if you’re so inclined, you can also try to sink them with rocks from the shore.

[If you’ve got a few extra minutes, check out our Totally Quotable Arlo archive.]

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  1. Eel
    Posted September 11, 2017 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    When told that he was in charge, he should have immediately said, “Where’s your bank?”

  2. Jean Henry
    Posted September 11, 2017 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    “…it’s still [necessary] to grab moments of happiness, even as the world collapses around us.” Thanks for the reminder. Think I’ll let my son direct our afternoon/evening today, which probably means sports, boardgames and fried chicken but no newsfeed viewing. I’m ok with that.

  3. Dan Richardson
    Posted September 11, 2017 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    You should drink more scotch and post more about Arlo and Clementine.

  4. Jean Henry
    Posted September 11, 2017 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    He wanted to eat diner food and talk about 9-11 after school. I pivoted to talking about Islam and how lucky we are to live in a place with such a large Middle Eastern community– We can observe in our daily lives the fallacy of Islamophobia. I made Harira. We talked about Mesopotamia. We named our Muslim friends and neighbors, and talked about how they demonstrate their faith. They showed a Nick News film about 9-11 in his class that was all about our losses and nationalism. I decided to talk about reconciliation. Sometimes you have to lead the parenting dance.

  5. Jean Henry
    Posted September 11, 2017 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Tomorrow we’ll do the sports/game thing. Today was one for questions and answers.

  6. Iron Lung
    Posted September 12, 2017 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    But what does he think about UBI?

  7. Lynne
    Posted September 12, 2017 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    It is always important to remember that most of the time it is possible to find joy in everyday life regardless of if there is a UBI in place or not.

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