HomeHey DadsHey Dads! by Jason Weening

Hey Dads! by Jason Weening

Hey Dads! by Jason Weening

Have any of your kids left home?  Gone away to school?  Crossed the border?  Last week we dropped our oldest daughter, Annabelle, off at school in Wisconsin.  This involved crossing the border and for the second time in my life we were privileged to have our vehicle searched when we drove across the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor.

Annabelle had all the necessary paperwork ready in an envelope when we drove up to the booth at the border crossing.  There’s sometimes a chuckle from the border agent when I hand them my overflowing mound of passports.  “How are you related to all these people?” the agent once asked.  “They’re my kids,” I replied with a smile.

This time I handed him the passport pile plus a bunch of paperwork for Annabelle.  One of the younger kids must have snuck a note in the paper pile because as I handed the agent all the documents a small beautifully-coloured note slowly fell from the pile and floated gently to the ground.  “Oh, sorry,” I said.

“I’ve got it,” he replied as he leaned over to pick it up.  As he grabbed it we both noticed the colourful note said, “I love you”.  I commented to him, “Um, I’m not sure if that’s going to hurt me or help me?”  He laughed as he continued to read through the papers.  Unusually chipper for a border agent.

“Ok, you’re going to park over there and go into the office on the right,” he said gesturing to the parking area just ahead of us.  We pulled up and another agent directed us to our spot.  “Leave everything in your vehicle except for your wallets,” he said.  That’s when I realized we were all going into the office.  The whole family.  All 11 of us.  What could possibly go wrong?

The kids gathered all their stuff up and we paraded our crew in.  I heard the radios crackle, “Family of 11 coming in”, and noticed the shocked and puzzled faces of many of the officers.  One of them looked at me questioningly, “9 kids?” he asked.  “Yes, sir!” I replied as politely as I could, big smile on my face.

In the office were five or six rows of chairs spread out in the waiting room.  We took up most of them.  Mabel, our two-year-old, asked, “Are we in church?”  Not quite, my little dear.  The boys began reading the various notices around the room about drugs and weapons and such.   One of them asked if the officers would take his knives from his backpack in the van.   I told them I didn’t think they would.  Glancing out the window behind me I noticed the hood of my van open and realized that the vehicle search was underway.

Everything must have panned out because 30 minutes later Annabelle had her passport stamped and our line of ducklings walked back out to our successfully-searched van.  Again on the radios, “Family of 11 coming out”.  We were through the border, we got the passport stamp, no one was detained.  That’s a win.  I’m thinking of all you dads sending your kids off to school this year.  It’s true what they say:  Time flies!  Make every moment count!  And the boys still have their knives.  Phew!

Jason Weening drives a big van full of his nine eight kids and one wife.  For more dad-ventures check out heydads.ca.

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