An Afternoon In The Park

The great outdoors is Central Park. I’ve never taken a hike, only thrown a ball at P.E. class & can’t swim for the life of me. My dad got the hint when I was five. They placed me in little league. Surprisingly, I ran all the wrong bases. Soon, little league was a thing of the past.

My dad was more of the liberal & open-minded parent. Mom was very conservative & found culture shock in my interests. I remember writing a story about a traveling drag queen, which puzzled her. However, I had an interest in the world & didn’t want to conform to the stringent standards put out by mainstream society. Being a boy was more multi-faceted for me than the classic images of John Wayne.

When my mom passed, we took more trips. Although, we always had a close relationship, it grew stronger through the years. After my mom died, we took a trip to Spain. Of course, we did everything you should do on a trip to Madrid & Barcelona, plenty of tapas, museums & walking around lavish squares.

However, one activity caught my attention, canoeing. Madrid has the most beautiful park, “El Parque del Retrio.” It has manicured gardens, beautiful tree lined walking paths & the centerpiece is a lovely pond. I saw how classy the Madridlenos (people of Madrid) looked rowing their boat. So, I suggested we give canoeing a try.

My father laughed. However, he caught the reality check when I stepped on the boat. I don’t like deep water & never rowed a boat. There was no safety vest in sight. Regardless, I didn’t have any fear as I rowed the boat. There was this tranquil classic feeling to rowing. At first my dad did all the work. I sat there looking like a proper gentleman.

Soon, I took charge & rowed the boat. The boat kept going backwards. My dad showed me how to row it, but our little vessel kept going the opposite way. My dad just took pictures of me happily rowing the boat, doing a terrible job, but loving every minute.

In life, I went opposite of what my parents expected me to be. However, my dad always laughed & accepted my personality quirks. Even while we lived in opposite coasts are bond stayed strong. He was a phone call away, but it always seemed closer. These days, we don’t sit in boats. We do spend lots of quality time together & laugh about my rowing skills.

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