The Skateboard and the Velociraptor

I used to hate walks. Found them to be pointless. 

Why walk when you can go for a run and get more done – more distance and more exercise in less time. 

In my mind, a walk was the equivalent of mailing a handwritten letter. WHY would anyone use such an inefficient and outdated method to accomplish an end.

The pandemic changed all that. 

I’ve come to love walks. My wife and I make it a point to end the workday with a family walk. It makes for a nice transition from work mode into family mode. And it’s been an opportunity to slow things down and live in the present.

But, my unhealthy obsession with efficiency still creeps in from time to time…

Just the other day, we were getting ready to go on a walk. 

My daughter decides she wants to bring her scooter instead of walking. The scooter is disassembled. I ask my daughter to bring me the handle and the board so I can put it together. 

My daughter takes her sweet time, as 4 year olds are wont to do. (How is it that a length of 25 feet can stretch to be a marathon’s distance when a 4 year old has to traverse it?)

As she nears me, my daughter realizes the bottom half of the scooter, in its disassembled form, looks like a skateboard. This realization interrupts her current task. She’s forgotten she is in the process of bringing me the scooter to assemble and instead wants to try and ride the “skateboard.”

But, she’s four. She has no idea how to ride a skateboard.

That doesn’t stop her.

She puts her feet on it while keeping her hands on the ground and begins to rock it back and forth with her feet. 

All the while I’m getting frustrated. What should have been a 30 second task to assemble the scooter is turning into what feels like an Odyssean journey. 

It doesn’t take long before the “skateboard’ slips and she kicks it far away. 

At this point my frustration is turning into an agitated velociraptor. It thinks she’s purposely stalling and wasting time. It has to wait even longer for her to go get the errant “skateboard.”

I lose my cool and snap at her, tell her “Don’t do THAT! Just bring me the bottom half”

Without missing a beat, my daughter replies, “…but then it wouldn’t be fun!”

That instantly disarms the velociraptor. 

And I’m reminded to not take life so seriously. 

There’s a time and place for efficiency. But NOT everything needs to be on a schedule or reach an end goal as quickly as possible. 

So, I laugh at my daughter for her astute observation. I assemble the scooter.

We go on a walk.

And, I enjoy it for as long as it lasts.

Because, the journey is the end goal. 

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