Tag Archives: duct tape adventures

Monday Moments … Duct Tape Adventures

6 Sep

I don’t have many of these opportunities left.

I remember the veteran parents letting me know, it’s gonna be quick. Happen in a blink. Before you know it they’re gonna be going to college.  At times it didn’t feel quick. The long days when I was struggling by myself, sometimes I got help, other times I did most of the heavy lifting. So it didn’t seem to be going quickly. The tough days lasted so long and the fun happy ones seem to be so short.

Perspective was difficult to find until I was able to slow days down with gratitude and find pockets of time that stood still throughout the day.

Now I feel it slipping bit by bit again. I still got a ways to go until the empty nest days, I know I’ll be a wreck, but I got time. And until then, I try my very best to have patience, but whenever I ask for the ability to have more, it just backfires and I get situations where I lose it and frustrations bubble over the top. There’s no patience. Zero.

And then I feel bad.

I breathe. 

I hit reset.

And start over again.

I realized I need to stop asking for more patience, because all that gives me are situations that require more patience than already have in the tank. The universe gives me situations, not patience itself. Instead of giving me more I’m just overwhelmed. So now I ask for other things.

Times that I can remember when I’m older and having my kids remember good times when they look back. I hope for that, for them to look back and remember the Kodak moments with smiles and feel good vibes. Good-Time-Noodle-Salad moments.

That brings me to our Duct Tape Adventures. Ever since I found out about it, I got the kids jazzed up about the cardboard boat race and went all out. Every year since my son was six, we’ve ventured into the chlorine-filled pool and done our best to splash our way home in the Hannah Barbara Wacky Races inspired adventure. I always enjoyed those races and the personalities of each car as it zig-zagged its way toward the finish line hoping to be first. These are some of the times I hope they enjoy and remember when they got gray hair.

It takes one to two weeks to build and create a floating vessel of some kind, where I do most of the building and they put in the details or add some rows of tape. Each year the kids alternate and get to choose what the theme for our boat will be, and they look forward to the big day. The excitement of the race, will we finish first or last, what other boats will be there, what will people create, which boats will float and which ones will sink.  The day is something we all look forward too.

After a year of hiatus, you know, because the pandemic was attacking Earth, we were able to come back. Vaccinated and masked up people created and participated, and I was able to bring some Wacky Races fun back into our household. Thank you duct tape.  I was a little worried as my son, who is a lot older now had that competitive edge driving him forward, while my daughter just wanted make it to the finish line without flipping over and having to swim across, dragging the boat to the end. I had to remind my son that this day was about fun, about enjoying the moment and not getting burned out if his sister wasn’t an Olympic caliber member of the crew team. I also had to remind my daughter that she had to work as a team with her brother and that competition is part of the fun.

Balance. They both just needed to see the other side. 

In the end they both enjoyed the day of sunshine, with smiles, splashing, intense rowing, cheering, and hugs as they won their consolation bracket. High-fives all round as the boat remained one of the last ones still afloat.

Gorilla Duct Tape … You. Are. Awesome.

Duct Tape Adventures Continue …

6 Oct

It’s an adventure inspired by my childhood Saturday morning cartoons and now continues into a family tradition. Something that involves the very best of our creative bones, laughter, and smiles.

Sometimes I think I enjoy it more than my kids, but when I see their faces during the race or at the night, it might be a tie.

Do you remember those Saturday morning cartoons, the kind you needed no alarm for, just sprang out of your bed in pajamas and snuck into the living room to watch as everyone still snored and dreamed away until the sun shone through the curtains?

This story always begins there …

Wacky Races. I loved the competition and how each character created their own custom vehicle. The whole concept was something that stuck with me for years. I’d always wanted to do something like that, but nothing like that existed in my neck of the woods. So I needed to wait until I had kids to finally participate in something as cool as that. So the duct tape and cardboard make appearances every year in the fall.

I don’t necessarily do it so that the kids can look back on it and say … yeah we had a tradition … more so that they can be able to remember the fun in building, in creating, in racing, in cheering others on, in thinking yeah we had fun with mom on that, that was something cool I enjoyed in my childhood. I know they enjoy it in the present moment, I just hope the memory lasts long after I’m gone and they smile at the pictures. They start conversations with each other and tell stories of our family. They think … good times, noodle salad.

Our annual duct tape adventures took place last month and I seemed to enjoy the creativity and architectural skills of all the participants. I’m surprised every year by the ingenuity and awesomeness of people’s spirit. Sometimes I wonder if these people make props or stage sets for a living because they’re so great. But I give my mom skills a high five as we are always one of the few boats left afloat.

This year my son, a true fan of The Rebellion, chose a Star Wars themed ship for the race and in truth we almost didn’t make it. But a couple late nights and the amazing strength of Gorilla Duct Tape and we were sailing away.

 

Our Rebel ship ready for takeoff 🙂

As always we participated in the child-adult race, but they also decided to try their luck in the child-child category as well. It was so fun to see them paddle their way to the finish line. Now they weren’t experienced kayakers as some of the older kids, but the fact that they raced on their own and tried it was pretty fun to watch. I was worried by son’s competitive edge would result in a frustrating loss, but he enjoyed his first kid race, regardless. My daughter attempted paddling and I believe her arm muscles didn’t appreciate it the next morning. Next year we’re gonna have to try taking rowing lessons as we finally got the buoyancy and staying afloat part nailed. We just need our rowing muscles and a little more coordination.

IMG_4100

My favorite this year was Marty, Doc, and their DeLorean …

But no matter what, we enjoyed our day at the beach, the camaraderie of the other boat architects, the creativity of the boats and the excitement of the races. I’ll keep building the boats as long as they keep enjoying the journey.

 

Buen Camino my friends