Thumbs Up!

This morning I drove Ethan all the long way out to Wildwood for a Meet the Machines event at Kelpe Contracting.

It was awesome.

First of all, the Kelpes are very accommodating. They took time to explain what each machine was and how it was used, then allowed the kids to climb into each and every one. They were able to pull all the levers they liked, but were asked not to push buttons because in the past when the operators have gotten in after the kids and started up the machines there have been lights flashing, wipers going, whatever.

Imagine that.

Anyone familiar with my son knows he’s got a real monkey on his back when it comes to these things. He spent a lot of time in the cabs giving me thumbs-up for my photos. Oddly enough, he wanted to start with the plain-Jane tractor. Whatever, I guess he wanted to work his way up to the big machines. I think the only machine he missed was the roller, but it was too small for him I guess.

New HollandWheel LoaderHad a scraper on the backanother thumbs up

Big excavatorarticulated truckbig ol' wheelsLearning from Mrs. Kelpe, the expertclimbing aboard the finish dozerfinish dozer

All of that climbing around was certainly fantastic and great for burning energy, but the highlight of the event – by far – was this:

Ethan insists he didn’t have a favorite machine, he just loved them all. I think he particularly liked the backhoe and the articulated truck, though.

By the time we finished it was lunchtime and because I’m such a meticulous (read: obsessive) planner, I’d packed a picnic lunch for us to eat at Rockwoods Reservation.

As it happened – and as has been somewhat rare this spring – it was a gorgeous day.

running for the picnic tablewatching butterflies

Today was so pretty that this curmudgeonly mother decided we indeed had time for a walk along the trail near the picnic area. During the walk the hot topic of conversation was whether this or that particular hole would be good for lizards. At some point I remarked, “Yes, if I were a lizard that would probably be a good place for me.”

Ethan said, “But if you were a lizard we couldn’t do things like this. And Meet the Machines. And picnics.”

“Yes,” I said, “I suppose that’s true. I’ll try not to turn into a lizard.”

“And also I want you to try hard not to be hit by lightning, earthquakes, tsunamis, or tornadoes,” he informed me.

He’s sweet.

So I’ll try not to do that.

Just in case you think I was exaggerating today’s beauty, behold:

halfway upbeautiful dappled shadepost-lunch walk

So here is a thumbs-up to a rare, perfect, carefree day out with my son. Too bad it had to end so soon. We’ll just have to do this more often.