My daughter made the front page of The West section in the Sunday edition of Idaho Fall’s Post Register. And she looks cute as a button. It was Saturday and she was wearing her rainbow swimming suit when caught skipping through ankle-deep water at a local event trying to catch fish. And true to Leah-form she saw her picture in the paper and exclaimed (palms cupping cheeks), “I didn’t catch a fish but my picture is on the paper…” as if the cosmos had finally realigned, restoring karmic justice.
As Paul Harvey would say, and now, for the rest of the story…
We were down by the Snake River enjoying a big shindig in preparation for the great Duck Race, an annual event where people adopt rubber ducks which are numbered and then dropped into the river in a race for different prizes. So sans stroller (note to self: never again) we walked the river and enjoyed lots of kid-friendly activities. We made sailboats at the Home Depot tent, noodle necklaces, sand art, and maracas with the Youth Jamboree, and then, the best part, the kids got to jump into a man-made pond to try and catch some rainbow trout. It was a Norman Rockwell moment. Good farm town fun. Kaleb and Leah were completely invested; Kaleb even caught four fish (two of which were already dead---sshhhhhh…) and Leah just seemed to be enjoying a very public romp through the water. That is, until they blew the whistle and ushered a new set of kids into the pond.
Leah had a meltdown. At the top of her lungs (which, I must say, have the capacity of a 20-year old snowboarder, dude) she screamed, “I didn’t catch a fish…” Over and over again. Hundreds of people seemed to be watching while I wrangled cloths back on children and tried to keep a very distracted Zack by my side. Leah continued to scream. When that didn’t work she dropped to her knees and wailed. When she regained her strength she stood up and stomped her feet, screaming still. In fact, mid-tantrum Zack wondered onto a policeman’s golf cart. Once I disentangled him from the steering wheel I easily relocated my daughter who was still screaming by the river.
So imagine my surprise when on Sunday morning we discovered that while our ducks may not have won the race, Leah’s picture was on the cover of the paper. Looking absolutely joyful and serene. And thus, in Leah’s mind, balance had been restored. While she may not have caught any fish, she did secure a very captive audience. And that time she didn’t even need a tantrum to do it.
Yes, I am very afraid. I only have 9 more years until the girl turns 13.