We spent a few days in Pagosa Springs, one of our favorite getaway spots in Colorado. Although there’s not much in the way of nightlife, we wouldn’t have much use for it anymore even if they did, seeing as how we have one-plus kids in tow.
The highlight of Pagosa is the hot springs, which include more than a dozen man-made pools, all fed by a mixture of river and natural hot spring water. The smell all around the place is pungent, like a giant fart really, but over time that stench has come to represent relaxation for us. We take the three-hour drive from Pagosa to Pueblo a few times a year, decompressing and getting ourselves ready for the certain rush of activity that faces us when we get back home.
My son, Mattias, has come to really enjoy the springs too, even though the mellow environment isn’t exactly complementary to his personality. Something about the zoned-out hippie vibe of the place, though, affects even him. This isn’t to say that he’s an easygoing kid or anything, but I like to think it’s a good exercise in relaxation for him too. I’m not so sure the other guests at the springs agree, but relatively speaking, he’s a pretty chill little guy there.
One of his favorite things to do is to talk to everyone. Whereas we find his endless stream of questions a little bit of a beat-down after a while, new acquaintances still find it charming. He has no qualms about going up to complete strangers and asking them about what toys they like most, where they go to school, and if they’re big enough to make it through the night without wetting the bed.
He’s also quite the ladies’ man, even when he’s not trying to be. It’s sadly ironic that one of the best chick-bait strategies on the planet is a little kid, which generally puts you out of the running to take advantage of their charms.
“Excuse me ladies,” Mattias walked up to them as they were changing, “can I spin your suits for you?” There’s a centrifuge-like device in the locker rooms that spin the water out of the swimsuits to make them easier to pack. I have to assume that, given his age and lack of sexual awareness, he was really just trying to be helpful, but lines like that to literally charm women out of their clothes don’t come along every day.
They smiled and respectfully declined his offer, but he persisted. “It’s not too loud,” he said. “I can do it for you later if you change your mind, or you can probably handle it if you want to do them yourself.”
How awesome is that? Moments like that make a dad so proud.
Christian Piatt is an author, editor, speaker, musician and spoken word artist. He is the creator and editor of BANNED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE BIBLE and BANNED QUESTIONS ABOUT JESUS. Christian has a memoir on faith, family and parenting being published in early 2012 called PREGMANCY: A Dad, a Little Dude and a Due Date. Visit www.christianpiatt.com, or find him on Twitter or Facebook.