After Work Adventures

At two years old, adventures for Matador aren’t very complex—a playground, a pond, that sort of thing. But I’m hoping it sets a precedent of getting out in the world instead of sitting around the house all day reading books and writing books like his father.

On this day, I decided to get Matador out of the house while Dom put the refrigerator back together (compressor went out, we’ve been living out of an ice chest for a week). Since all of our food was spoiled, we popped over to HEB to grab some room temperature dinner.

Matador is currently enjoying what I can only describe as peak cuteness. His exuberant screaming and stilted running make people smile, and when he gets in their way, they wait patiently for him to pass before continuing with their own shopping. He has an effect on people that I really hope lasts for a long time.

Nothing in the store really interests him; he just enjoys running down the aisles, tugging on my hand to get me to move faster. But, there is one thing he recognizes:

Sorry, kid. Even if we could take some home, we wouldn’t have any place to store it.

At the self-checkout area, Matador made friends with an HEB lady by waving at her and saying, “Hey, hi!”

Since we didn’t have any perishables, we went up the road a little ways to an empty park so he could burn off some energy. The park has one of the few playscapes around that comes with its own shade. It’s only May in Texas, but already it’s too hot to be outside for long.

I really do enjoy hanging out with my son in the afternoons. Sometimes I come home from work tired and bitter and wanting nothing more than a quiet room, a comfy chair, and a Jack and Coke. But Matador is always there with a wave and a “Dada!” and how in the hell are you supposed to say no to that?

So I make it a point to take him on adventures in the afternoon, partly to just get him out in the world but also to give Dom a break from parenthood so she can focus on herself. I have been doing a ton of reading into personal identity in the context of difficult relationships (yes, marriage + parenthood qualifies), and one of the most important things you can do, in any situation, is to chase your own pleasure.

That could mean a lot of things: video games, movies, books, sugar, exercise… whatever you want, as long as it is for you and no one else.

Personally, I take pleasure in chauffeuring my son around town. I like to hang out with him on playscapes while he spins wheels and I drink a Red Bull. And when he’s done and just wants to explore the area, we go on a little walk, and I talk out the next handful of chapters of my current WIP with him.

He’s a great listener in that regard, repeating a word I say every now and then. By the time we’re getting back in the car to go home, his cheeks are starting to redden, it’s getting close to dinner time, and I’ve worked out the final 20ish chapters of Brigham Plaza.

See, my son and I are already writing books together!

Everyone wins when Matador goes on adventures. I just never knew I would enjoy it so much.


Daniel Verastiqui is an author, father, and sugar enthusiast. His latest novel, Hybrid Mechanics, is available in print and digital formats at Amazon.


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