I am the lava monster

Photo by Daniel Ruyter on Unsplash

You’re the dad.
That one.
The one at the park with your kid and wife.
You leap from platform to platform.
You climb with great speed up the ladder.
And slide with deft down the twisty slide. 
All the while
Shouting with glee.

I’m the lava monster, yaaaaahhh!!!

Us other dads have clearly been outmatched.
We have never been
Nor will we ever be
As fun or as lively
As you.

We look at each other
Hands in our pockets. 
Some of us try to step it up. 
We run a little.
Some of us clap.

But we all watch…

Watch as you fly across the zipline.
Feet kicked up high.
Will it hold?
Or will it snap?
Sending you to the earth
Knocking the wind out of you
And bringing the lava monster
To its demise.

Your dockers and wingtips are like a professional dad uniform.
Amazing, the support they provide
As you jump off the top level by the steering wheels and drums
Landing far below.

That one was a little much.
Pretty sure that was against park rules.
Other kids are copying you now.
Mothers are angry.
And I see it might have hurt your right knee a little.
But victorious you rise
Arms outstretched and hairy belly shamelessly revealed
To all the dads who bow at your feet
As you shout Braveheart-style…

I am the lava monster! Yaaargh!!

Now you’re on the see saw
Having so. Much. Fun.
Bouncing higher than ever.
Face red.
Smile beaming.
I’ve never seen a see saw move so violently.
Your little girl flew off.
I think she might be hurt.
Nope, she’s good.
You leap off and run to the rope ladder web thing
Where you scale to the top
So fast
So fast.

You run up the twisty slide.
Pretty sure that’s another infraction.
Other kids follow your lead.
More angry moms.
More angry moms.

You are that dad.
You are the lava monster.

Now my little girl is asking me
Daddy, can you be the lava monster?

No, honey, I can’t. 
There is only room enough for one at this park.

She’s disappointed, I know. 
She turns away and stares at you
As you spin around on the spinny thing
Maxing out the weight limit.

Bold move, friend.
Bold move.

You shout and you growl and you spit your fire
Just like a real life
Lava monster.

Other dads are starting to leave now
Clearly defeated
Clearly outmatched
Clearly out-funned.

Sweat oozes out of every pore of your brow.
Your work clothes aren’t the breathable type.
They might be great for selling insurance
But not for owning the role of
The lava monster.

You’re spent now.
Good show, old sport.
I want to walk up and shake your hand.
Good match. 
But that might just be weird.

You gather your clan.
Jump in your van.
And off, you speed.
Another day won.

It’s just me and my daughter there now…

I am the lava monster!!!!! Yaaaargh!!!!

And she says it…

Dad… Stop acting weird.

Jonas Ellison is a writer who blogs about his life over at Higher Thoughts, one of the most popular single-author publications on Medium. Subscribe to his daily-ish missives and musings at JonasEllison.com