There are moments when you know that the pain and heartache of parenting is all worth it: watching your child take his first steps.  Helping them learn to ride a bike without training wheels.  Discovering that they’ve put underwear on the dog.  And snapping a picture of them wearing Target sacks over their shoes so you can later post it on your blog.

Before you start an Adopt-a-Franks-a-Thon to raise money to buy my kids some shoes, please know that this was their choice.  If you don’t live in North Carolina, you should know that we’re in the middle of a monsoon.  Austin was insistent that he wear his flip flops today; but didn’t want his feet getting wet while walking from the house to the car or the car to the school.  Jase…well, Jase is blond, and didn’t realize that his tennis shoes didn’t need three-ply plastic.

And so, for twenty minutes before we left the house this morning, I heard the swish-swish-swish-AHHH I SLIPPED AND MAYBE BROKE MY CLAVICLE! of plastic sacks on feet.  I thought about how proud Al Gore would be that we were reducing our carbon footprint (there’s a pun there somewhere, I can feel it).  And I told them multiple times that they looked ridiculous.  Because I’m an honest dad, and they did.  And even when I pulled out the phone to snap a picture, I said, “Come on guys, smile!” to which Austin replied, “This is a serious moment, dad.”

But the best part came when we pulled up to Austin’s school.  He had, of course, forgotten that the sacks were on his feet.  So he started ripping them off like an epileptic windmill before any of his friends saw him and started deducting cool points (these are the same 8th graders that listen to Justin Dweeber and swap Silly Bandz like they’re gold bricks, so what do they know about cool points, but still…).  So he ripped off the plastic, tossed them in the floorboard of the car, and then launched out of the Hooptie Deux to start the school day.

And then stepped directly into a very deep puddle of water.  With both feet.