We Can Make It

"We can make it!"

Those words, although sound glorious the minute they leave your mouth, are just not true.  It's a lie you tell yourself and as you grow wiser and you change, the lie remains the same.  No, you can never make it.  That's not how it works.  You tell yourself you can make it.  You tell your wife that we can make it.  You tell your children that we can make it.  But you can't, it's just the way of the world.  Yet, you say the words and for a moment, a brief fleeting moment, you believe them.  Your family believes them because your family believes in you.  You are Dad, you are the all powerful.  You are the adventurer and the adventurer says that you can make it, nut up you sons of bitches.  But alas, whether you utter those words while jumping Springfield gorge or while looking down a muddy dirt road, the words are empty and hollow.  We cannot make it.

But maybe we can!

Hossmom looks at me, there is doubt in her eyes.  I find her most beautiful when she is doubting me, it's a chance for me to once again prove my worth.  To impress her with my strength and the daring of my character.

"Drive damn you!  Drive!"  I tell her.  And she does.  Because we can make it.

The children cheer us on as our tires leave the pavement of the civilized world and enter the mud and the muck of the dirt road.  I am hoping that our nice little bed and breakfast that we are looking for in rural Kansas is just over the hill.  However, that supposes that this is the right dirt road and that our minivan, as manly and awesome as it is, can make it through the obvious slick mud that is this dirt road. It should damnit, I have skulls on my seat covers. 

I breath in the fresh manure air, we are on the hunt.  The family is on adventure!  Most times when we adventure, Hossmom is not with us.  She is tucked safely away in her office with air conditioning.  We may be hiking a river with a stroller tucked on our back,  kids strapped to our front.  Our motherly princess is most times enjoying her air conditioning and 5 dollar coffee.  We are enjoying battling the mosquito hoard as we burrow through woods looking for a rocky cliff where Jessie James may or may not have camped at one point in time.  She is chasing the advertising dollar, we are chasing folk lore.  She is happy in her office, in her security, creating spreadsheets.  We are happy creating legend.

The minivan is chugging along, not as fast as I would like, but we are moving forward.

"Don't stop mother!  Don't stop!"  Yup, I actually call her mother.  I don't know why, but I did.  It seemed right, it seemed appropriate.  It fit our adventure.  We would find our bed and breakfast and we would enjoy our god damn quiet weekend but only after we slung some mud and fought for the glory.  The children are cackling in the back to the sound track of Toy Story and Randy Newman.  I am cackling in the front, we can make it!  Adventure!  Hossmom still looks worried.

"More gas, give it more gas!"  In my head, and this may be a serious flaw in my plan, I imagine that if we can gain enough speed the we can safely hydroplane right over the top of the muddy hill while our horn plays Dixie and I yell yeeeeeee-----hawwwwwwww.  Once we crest the muddy hill I'm sure we will see out little bed and breakfast.  Victory, it's so close, just over the hill.

The minivan starts to slide as do my hopes.  We start pulling to the right.  Hossmom corrects the curvature but her heart just isn't in it.  Perhaps this is the moment that it all went wrong.  Hossmom lost faith.  It had nothing to do with my hydroplane plan, it was flawless.  But it required a certain degree of moxy and faith and sadly I was seeing the faith go out of my wife's eyes.  My leadership was perfect. 

"Gun it!" I scream, passion in my voice.  If I know anything about driving in mud, and I don't, it's that if you give your car a crap ton of gas it should automatically give you traction and send you flying and not dig you a hole in the ground. Apparently, it does not.  It digs you a hole.

We slide at a 45 degree angle and eventually come to a stop.  Hossmom tries to give it some more gas, we sink just a bit.

The phrase "we can make it" apparently means that we can make it about 50 yards with a good 100 to go.  Uphill.  I know what I have to do.

"Are we stuck" my daughter asks.

"Yup" I say.

"Adventure!" my son says.  Always the optimist, the backbone of family morale.  Yes, adventure son.

And what does adventure mean?  It means that sometimes to obtain glory, you have to create your own opportunities.  Fucking A bubba, adventure!

I open the door and step in the mud with my flip flops. I have tennis shoes but they are buried in the back under all the baby gear.  Naw, my flip flops will be fine. 3 month old Bacon Hoss is back there, this is his first real chance to see hero dad in action.  Flip flops will be fine.

I go to the front of the car and put my hands on the hood, it's warm from battle.  I gather myself, this is my test, my family is watching.  My strength is pooling in my arms and in my soul.

I tell Hossmom to put the car in reverse, I'll push us out.  In my flip flops.  In 2 inch deep mud (or field runoff, the manure stink was high).  Glory.  It's there.  You just have to go get it.

She guns it and I push.

My brand new fucking flip flops slide out from under me, one goes to the left and I feel the strap on the other one break.  My knees hit the ground.  We moved about an inch.

Flip flops are for pussies.

Adventuring is not for the faint of heart.  It's not for the weak of soul.  It's not for those that cannot adapt to bad decisions.  It's not for those that quit.  Glory does not always present itself to you.  Sometimes, you have to go find it, create it, embrace it until it submits itself to your will.

Shoeless, I dig my toes in the mud.  My face is red with strain.  I faintly hear my children cheering me on.  They are laughing, I am laughing.  Adventure kids, adventure.  Hossmom guns it again, I push.  The minivan moves slowly backwards.  Glory, go get some, you can make it.  

1 comment:

  1. Follow UP:
    For those interested, and I'm sure there are, we did indeed get out of the mud but not by my strength alone. Apparently, my strength of character can only push a minivan about 25 yards before we can go no further. Luckily, we were meeting friends at the bed and breakfast and Hossmom made a call. Our friend, who I shall call Angry Bird, came to give us a hand. But not before he snapped lots of pictures and laughed his ass off. He is also of the opinion that I was about to have a heart attack from all the strain when I was pushing on the car. I did not have a heart attack, only my pride was destroyed. Little Hoss, Bubba Hoss and Bacon Hoss did indeed think that this was a grand adventure and continue to talk about "the time we got stuck in the mud". My sincere thanks to Angry Bird for also going shoeless in field run off and helping push us out the remaining 25 yards. Hossmom eventually got into the spirit but not until we reached our bed and breakfast, which was a turn sooner than the one I chose. She had a good shower then saw the humor in our little escapade. GPS does not do a great job in BFE middle America. And even though I admit I made a bad decision, we should have not gone down that road, I do not regret the decision at all. It has become part of our family folklore, our story, and that is more important to me than an easy trip. Adventures with the kids are always interesting and it's fun when we can get out of a scrape (thanks to good friends) and laugh about it later.