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Tuesday, September 10, 2013


So my kiddos used to be a more prominent feature here in Lobsterland.

My blogging started in earnest around the time I got divorced, and my outings with my kids were fodder for a lot of those posts.

It was kind of an epiphany for me, I had been something of an absentee father towards the end of Marriage 1.0, working way too much, drinking way too much when I got home from that. When I first had my kids for a weekend alone, I was a deer in the headlights. What the hell were we supposed to do from 5:00 on Friday evening to 7:00 on Sunday night?

But if we were traveling, we wouldn't sit around the hotel chewing on each other about what to watch on TV, right? We'd go out and do shit. Whatever Chicago or New York or Great Bend had to offer. So what was different about hanging out together in Kansas City?

The only thing different is when you travel, you plan to spend money. Adjusting to a world where I had a mortgage that was over my head and child support that was almost as much as that mortgage, well, spending money wasn't an option for the most part.

Kansas City turns out to have a lot of stuff that's free. The Nelson, Kemper, KU's natural history museum, all 'suggested donation' entries. If your suggestion is $0.00, they still let you in. Parks, shopping malls, some seasonal festivals and parades, lots of stuff with no money to get through the door.

I found ways to spend a little sometimes, we did the Highland Games once, the Irish Fest, too. Renn Fest a few times, the Zoo, I don't know. But somewhere along the line, my kids got too cool to go do these things. They're in high school now, Mo's a Junior, Em's a Senior. Getting them out of the house to do anything takes a combination of force and trickery it seems.

I stopped at this park at Em's suggestion on the way to a movie with them. Sort of with them. We went to the 'dollar theater' (in quotes because it now costs $3), me and Mo saw Man of Steel, Em wanted to see the Star Trek movie instead, and since they started at the same time and I can remember how important autonomy was to me at 17, I let her split off.

Since I literally can't remember the last time my kids were game for hitting the swings in the park, I had to whip out my camera and document it.

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