Famous last words of a boy who is headed out to play in the mud with his ol' man. We both knew before we left the shop to head down to the creek that there was a 100% chance that we would soon be wet and muddy. But, let's back up just a bit. This past Sunday I had plans with my son to go ATV riding down at the creek. We have been putting it off because where we like to go has been under water for the last few weeks. When we went to go look we were pleased because it appeared to as if the water had began to run off. So, we thought it was okay to go riding. For the most part most, the areas were wet, boggy, sticky, and real thick with silty mud. Perfect conditions for what we wanted to do, which was have a little fun before dark, in the mud. My son and I are no strangers to getting in the mud and playing around. Sometimes it can even be challenging because the terrain changes allot when there is no solid bottom below you. But, we are both always game to get out and get dirty. We both knew before we set off on this little adventure that we would have some explaining to do when it was all over. We also knew we would be cleaning and detailing our rides before anything decided to dry and get to badly caked on. We actually did real well keeping clean for the couple of hours we were riding with just a bit of spatter. Thinking we were home free we set up to exit the mud slosh we had been riding back and forth thru when we literally ran into a snag. I was riding in front at a very slow pace because my son was behind me and I wanted him to ride thru my tracks since mine left a larger footprint in the mud. We rode like this for around 3/4 of a mile and then it happened, my son begins to have his tires slip. He panicked a bit and gave it too much gas which buried his ATV.
No choice but to get real muddy now. Our ride went from being a slow ride to a messy rescue of his ATV. There really is no way to get around getting dirty now. Besides, not getting dirty was very much just a nice thought, but his mother ought to know better by now since this isn't the first time we have been riding here or anywhere. At this point my son is very nervous because he is very worried he will be getting into trouble soon. No matter what I said to him, no matter how many times I told him not to worry about it, he still isn't ready to face the music. He has allot to learn. Wait til he finds out that I can't get grounded or in trouble for getting muddy while out playing. Meanwhile, we have the task of getting his ATV out of the mudhole. It actually was not very hard. It took more time to spin my ATV around and roll the winch out to hook up. Afterwords, we are riding side by side and kind of joking but he still seems a bit stressed. I patted him on his helmet and told him it was time to head in. I took the lead, setting the pace, and he followed me around the bank, across a stretch of open field, and back through the creek to go up the trail onto my property. When we got up to the shop it was dark so I sent my son in to turn on the exterior lights at the back of the shop so we could clean up. I had begun to hose myself off first to get the mud off my skin, out of my hair, and off my face. I had my son strip down to his boxers so I could hose him down as well. I will be the first to say that the water was freakishly cold. I stripped down as well and got a pair of coveralls out of the shop to put on. I sent my son to the house, still just wearing boxers, so he could go jump into the shower. I laid both of our clothes out and gave them a good hosing. Now they are good as new, ring them out, and put them in a pile to take to the house here in a bit.
As I started knocking the mud off of my son's ATV my wife walks around the corner with a shit eating grin on her face. It is her face when she is thinking of something smartass to say but holds back and just giggles to herself. She tells me that our son is now in the shower and from the looks of everything that I will need one as well. I keep cleaning, listening, and waiting for what she has too say. All I got was a "don't be too long because the pizza will be here soon". We had a little small talk about where we were riding and how muddy it was. She laughed and told me she knew we wouldn't come back as clean as we left. Which is where I stopped her. I wanted to let her know that our son is very worried and fears being in trouble for coming back all muddy. She's not worried about any of that, she just worries about one of us getting hurt doing something stupid. She told me she was kidding and joking around with us before we left. This is something I know, but our son takes things real literal sometimes. Then she grabbed a towel and started helping me clean all the mud from everywhere. We talked, we laughed, and it was actually pretty fun in a weird way. I decided that they were as clean as they were going to get for the night and got on my ATV to pull it in the shop. She hopped on my son's ATV, to my shock, and pulled in right beside me. When we get everything closed up and turned off we walk back up to the house. She tells me she wants to mess with our son and for me to just play along. Oh crap, here we go.
By the time we made it back to the house my son was already out of the shower. The pizza had arrived and the kids were waiting on us to get here so they could eat. They pick this one time to be polite and wait, it was funny. I stopped in the appropriately named mud room, stripped down, and just took my shower to clean up in there. Meanwhile, my wife was nice and brought me some clothes down from the bedroom. She hasn't said anything to my son as of yet, but he is still walking on eggshells so he doesn't raise attention to himself. I took a seat at the bar after getting myself a few slices of pizza so I could look at some mail I had sitting there. The kitchen was very quiet, almost eerily still because of the silence. So, I broke up the silence and told my daughter she missed a great ride with me and her brother. She said that it looked like we had fun. Then, out of the utter silence, my wife, addressing my son, asks why he got so muddy and why he was trying to hide it from her. His face was priceless. He immediately looked to me for support as if I was going to defend him. Instead, I mentioned to him that I told him the creek bottom was pretty muddy and we should go around. I said this only because is it exactly what he had said to me at the time. Then, there was this moment, he took a deep breath, and then told his mom that he wasn't interested in trying to keep clean since he was concentrating on trying to keep the ATV wheels down. When she asked if he had fun he hesitated answering a bit and then told her, "yes ma'am, I had allot of fun riding with dad". My wife gets up at this point, goes to my son, pulls him in for a hug, and told him, "then that is all that really counts isn't it". He had that deer in the headlights look as he was struggling to figure out what had just happened. It was like he was asking himself, "is she serious"? None the less, after that moment we couldn't shut him up, he was excited to be able to tell of his adventure knowing now that everything was okay. Good thing for his mother that I know how to do laundry so she don't have to worry about it. All in all it was a good day out. We had a good ride and had a good time. I went up later to go tuck my son in and he was already out like a lite. Poor boy was worn out, I can relate and headed off to bed myself.