Corn Maze

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No one wants me on their team for the Corn Maze.

The “discussion” goes something like this… Dad: “We’re going to the Corn Maze tomorrow! It’s going to be so fun!”

Me: “Yay! Who wants to be on my team?”

Silence.

I’m met with silence as my whole family stares awkwardly at the floor, waiting to see who will break first.

“Well, don’t all jump at once, ” I say to them, and I laugh because they all know I have the worst sense of direction of anyone we know. That is to say, I have no sense of direction. I’m that person who gets lost inside the mall because when I exit any store; I cannot remember which direction I came from.

So I’m not really a liability to anyone’s corn maze team, as long as they don’t count on me for help. I’m just definitely not an asset. More like dead weight? Because I also walk the slowest.

We always break up into predicable teams though: first it’s girls versus boys; then kids versus parents.

Also predictable is the way that no one asks my opinion on which direction we should go. If I were more sensitive, or more Type A, I might get offended.

But I’m not, so I don’t.

I like to make it to the platform in the middle of the maze though. Not because it helps us to “see the big picture” (you can’t see the big picture at all from there), or to figure out where we should go. It’s a good photo op. If I can’t make myself useful in finding our way out of the maze, then I’ve designated myself as the record-keeper of the day, the documenter of the event.

No one else wants to take pictures.

“Let’s take a selfie up here,” I say as we climb the platform stairs. Middle Daughter predictably rolls her eyes as I hand her my phone. She’s the best at selfie-snapping. She humors me anyway and that makes me happy.

I follow my girls as they decide which way to go once we reach the bottom of the stairs.

“The corn maze is like a metaphor for life,” Oldest Daughter muses.

“Absolutely,” I smile in agreement.

You could turn down the wrong path, and it might take you a long time to turn yourself around. You could find yourself backtracking or walking around in endless circles. And sometimes, even when you turn down the right path, it’s not even immediately apparent.

Sometimes we get a little cranky by the end of Phase 2 of the corn maze. Whether it’s hot and we’re thirsty or just hungry… We are determined to finish both halves of this maze and eat a giant bag of kettle corn as our reward. Someone will be the Grand Winner, and someone will end up being the Grand Loser, having been on both losing teams (usually it’s me- it was this year).   There’s nothing worse than getting that text “we’ve been done for 5 mins- ho hum… waiting for you…” and you’re still in the maze, unsure how close you are to the end. Because you still have to find your way out, but now you know you’ve definitely lost. What a kill-joy.

I’m going to propose “No texting when you’ve finished” from now on. Let’s keep the mystery and possibility for gloating alive. Otherwise the last legs of the maze are just drudgery.

But I suppose if I’m going to get lost somewhere, I’d rather do it with these people that I love. Give me a corn maze with those that lift me up; hours of unscheduled time, where our minds and our feet wander aimlessly… where our conversations are meandering and unscripted and spontaneous… and the laughter comes freely.

Let me get lost with you, my loves, for as long as you’ll let me.

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