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Leo Paré

Backseat chaos pushes Dad to the edge

Many a special memory is born on long road trips with the family, though some of those ‘memories’ a guy might just as soon forget.

For my family, summer usually means at least a few journeys down the highway, be it camping trips or visits to the family farms.

My wife, Amanda, has become an expert on packing the essentials for keeping our two young boys occupied during long hours restricted to the confines of their car seats.

The checklist for a four-plus hour trip includes:

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A redneck adventure

Unsurprisingly, my wife wasn’t keen on camping in the middle of a pasture for a week when I first suggested the idea.

Lacking the foresight to make any big plans for our time off in July, an old buddy and I decided it might be fun to take our families camping on a private little lake (large slough) near my hometown of Chauvin, Alta. It was a hard sell to the wives, who made us promise to provide power, running water and to fulfil our portion of the parenting duties for the duration of the trip.

We pulled out on Monday afternoon, set up camp, cracked some cold ones and watched the kids frolic in the water while we parents got some much-needed sun on our pasty bodies.

Once word of our Prairie camping event got out, several other friends joined in, so by the third day of the trip there were half a dozen trailers scattered around our makeshift site.

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My first Father’s Day as a father

I awoke Sunday morning with the feeling I was being watched.

Still foggy with sleep, I looked to my left and saw the gleaming blue eyes of my three-month-old son Grayson staring at me. My wife, Amanda, had him propped up on her pillow in anticipation of me waking up to my first Father’s Day as an honest-to-goodness daddy.

“Hey dude,” I said, and he replied with a happy gurgling sound and an ear-to-ear grin.

I couldn’t imagine a better way to start that day — or any day, really.

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Falcon Cam the ultimate reality show

I’ve developed a mild obsession recently.

Over the past week, I’ve taken in so much information on peregrine falcons that I’ve started to forget other stuff.

In March, we at the Advocate newsroom heard about the Red Deer River Naturalist’s ambitious plans to place a webcam in the famous falcon nest in the Highland Green Telus tower.

From the moment the cam went live in mid April, my colleagues and I were hooked.

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