An Adventure with Caden [Southlake Family Photographer]
Today marks the last *full* week of preschool and the beginning of a summer of tears and agony (from me of course) over the impending kindergarten status this fall. This sweet child of mine has been 5 for months, but for some reason it's just hitting me how big he really is. He has such an amazing spirit and SO much going on inside that mind of his that he MUST share it all with you all day every day. I even have to instate 2 minutes of silence every so often to allow for him to regain oxygen. Seriously, the boy has so many ideas and stories to tell that he literally skips consonants, you have to tell him to pause, slow his roll, and try that sentence again. He has so much excitement and passion, it's kind of intimidating. So you can imagine what it's like to have some alone time with him.
When he turned 2 I started photographing him with a giant mylar balloon to track his age/growth. I'm not sure how long I'll keep it up, but it's become a fun little tradition that even he enjoys participating in (mostly because it always comes with major treats for cooperation). This year I went back and forth trying to figure out where (and when) I was going to take them and one random Sunday I woke up and decided today was the day. It didn't seem to stop me that it was cold or pouring down rain. I got it in my head that we were taking his pictures that day so dammit it was happening. In the past I've had Nick come along to help wrangle but this time I decided he was old enough just the two of us would go. So off we went, to Fort Worth (again, no idea why I got it in my head we were going all the way there), in a large rain storm. I kept watching the radar and told him the rain has to stop sometime so let's go grab lunch and wait it out. We found an adorable restaurant near the park and got there just before a mad lunch rush. He felt so cool, all dressed up, just him and mom, chatting about all things transformers. We sat there for about an hour just talking about nothing, with no hurry to leave, nowhere to be. It was perfect.
The rain finally stopped and the sun came out just enough for us to head to the Ft. Worth botanical garden. Just as we were getting started a grounds keeper stopped us and said we weren't allowed to use our balloon. Something about kids letting them go and them not being able to get them out of the trees, to which we said finneeee (GIANT EYE ROLL). So we ended up casually strolling the grounds "on a treasure hunt" and looking for adventure. He was totally in charge of our journey, choosing which path to take and where we'd go next. Along the way I'd make him stop and smile. And when he didn't want to I'd make some ridiculous nonsensical joke with the punch line of someone farting on someone else's head. Which would erupt into giggle fits. After a while we decided we were done and headed back to the car. I was happy with the outcome and just said maybe the balloon tradition is done. But my little man wasn't having it, we had to take at least one with it.
On our way out I saw a cute little park across the street and told him we'd go over for one picture with the balloon and head home. Which sounded like a good plan in theory. We climbed the rocks, hopped in puddles, laughed more about farts and played with the giant 5 balloon. At this point I was exhausted and said okkkk now let's go home. I gave him his celebratory package of fruit snacks and we sat on the steps eating them continuing our last discussion about Optimus Prime and the new angry birds transformers update. Until he heard the sound of a train whistle..... he freaked out, jumped up and we discovered the fun train that travels through Trinity Park. It sounded like a perfect end to a special day out with just me and the little man so of course I obliged.
The ride ended up being crazy long and we didn't find our way home for at least another hour but it was all worth it. He couldn't wait to get home and tell dad and Alivia all about the spontaneous fun we had. It's truly one of the only days this year I can say the two of us did anything like it, and hopefully not the last.