Every September we take a day and we vow to conquer the corn maze. It's like some type of amnesia hits somewhere between last time and this time. A renewed hope comes over us, along with a fresh perspective of how much fun the corn maze can be on a crisp fall day. Today was the day for us. The weather was gorgeous, everyone was happy and healthy and feeling great about the challenge, once again before us. Had we forgotten how lost we got last year? Yes. Did we forget the freezing cold elements 2 years ago? What cold? Yes, we forgot. Did we let slip from our memories the complaining as we neared hour 3 in the blistering hot sun only 3 years back? Yes. We forgot. What I do recall is the fact that the stars must be aligned, the temperature must be between 67 and 72 degrees with a slight breeze, their bellies must be full, and there has to be something to keep their attention in order to guarantee a somewhat successful several mile hike through the stalks of the corn.
Anyhow. Back to today.
As you can see it was an absolutely gorgeous, clear day. The sun was shining and the air was neither cool nor hot - just perfect in every way. Our attitudes were good and our outlook fresh. We were ready. The maze wasn't going to fool us this year. We had too many years under our belts. We'd been fooled before - this year would be our year to find all of the clues, all of the codes, and deciper all of the riddles to make our way back to the treasure waiting for us at the farmhouse.
Things took a turn at about a half hour in. The corridor we thought we would remember when we made several right turns was not the same one we thought. We found ourselves winding our way down the exact same wrong section several times over. We were becoming weary. It felt like a scene from National Lampoon's European Vacation.
|"hey kids, Big Ben, Parliament, again."|
"I'm wondering where the fun went." my six year old said.
"I'm thirsty." said seven.
So we stopped for a drink of water. Everyone took a break and felt refreshed from getting hydrated.
My husband the engineer decided that he just knew this way - (points to the right) would be the right way to go. We followed.
|Youngest was not pleased with the wrong turns.|
Right turns turned into wrong turns, dead ends turned maddening - and I could swear I heard children crying not far away. I overhead parents in other quadrants of the maze starting to crack. "STOP COMPLAINING, IT'S A NICE DAY AND WE ARE GOING TO HAVE A GREAT TIME!" She left off the 'dammit' from the end of her sentence. I winced in agreement to her statement and I turned to humor to salvage the kids' moods. I began to tell them about the horror movie Children of the Corn. I told them that kids who got lost in corn mazes ended up with a guy named Malachi as their master and had to sleep out in the fields every night with only field corn to munch on. Of course then I started to divert my thoughts into who Malachi really looked like and decided he looked like that Olympian Shaun White (Tomato Head - err wait, we can't call him that anymore, right?)
|(from powderroom.net)Apparently, I am not the only one who has had this thought. How I love the internet.|
We ran into another couple with three young boys and decided to commisserate. We cheated, okay? We swapped letters and codes as we smiled and nodded to each other in mutual understanding and sympathetic looks. We had no one to help us but each other. We had a new hope that we would, in fact, conquer this maze and the riddle and find our way back to the treasure soon. "PIRATE'S BOOTY" their little boy cried. "I WANT MY PIRATE'S BOOTY NOWWWW." We turned and went back down our little quadrant and left the couple to deal with their child. We couldn't let our kids smell fear and weakness. We had to press on.
"We're lost in this corn maze. We're going to be here forever aren't we?" asked our seven year old.
As we approached hour three, it was official. No one was actually having anything even remotely close to fun anymore. We were hot, tired, had to pee from all of the water we drank at the 15, 000 water break stops we made, and it was time to GTFO of the corn maze. We went to the top of the mini bridge in one of the quadrants and I took a long hard look at where we needed to be and decided if we were going to get out of here without becoming part of another Children of the Corn movie, I had to take the lead.
With (false) confidence, I said "follow me!"
|"NICE JOB?" is that all you have to say to me? Pfft.|
We made it back to the treasure chest and the boys had a new found energy in anticipation of what their prize for conquering the corn maze might be! They entered the code found from deciphering the riddle and opened the lock. They were now proud owners of their very own...wait for it...