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Whimsical, and maybe a little sadistic.

This place is exactly what you would picture Kentucky to look like: rolling hills, horses, big houses on big lots, blue sky, and room to run. The kids have spent the majority of their time running off their horrifying energy levels in the woods and hills behind my dad's house, which has freed up John and I to have adult conversations with my stepmom, the only one sane enough to stay inside with us, away from the nuclear fireballs that are my children. My dad is a brave soul, guiding them on hikes through the woods, chasing them in compliance with their constant demands to have the crap scared out of them, forging pirate swords and captain's daggers out of toilet paper rolls, letting them play in his office full of a lifetime's worth of precious trinkets and dozens of current, significant projects, and stopping whatever he's doing to take them on yet another tractor ride or start a fire and prep for marshmallow roasting.

Yesterday, after the Thanksgiving feast, during which the boys serenaded all of us with their cherubic voices and wowed us with their sweetness and maturity in the calm way they requested seconds -- oh wait, that's not what happened. It was more like, I DON'T LIKE CRANBERRY SAUCE OR GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE OR ANYTHING I WOULD NORMALLY EAT AT HOME WAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! I WANT FRENCH FRIES!, but whatever. After that, and okay, I'll admit, after a collective decent amount of alcohol had been consumed, John and I had a conversation with my dad about a recent costume party he attended, where he went as Poe's Raven. Maybe it was the wine talking, or maybe it was our shared desire to find something to take up ten minutes FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PLEASE WE MUST PASS THE TIME, but my dad said, "it would be hilarious if I put on the Raven costume and came walking out of the woods towards the kids." And once it was out in the open, people, there was NO. WAY. I was going to pass up that opportunity. Any time I have the chance to strike fear into the hearts of my children, I recognize it for the divine intervention that it is, Amen.

Oh, alright. We didn't tell them a spooky story about an evil crow. As tempting as it was, I prefer intact eardrums, and that wouldn't have been possible if we'd purposely tried to spook the kids, because their shrieks would have broken all the glass in a ten-mile radius. We told them there was a magical raven in the woods. Oh yeah, they were into it. They had bread crumbs and everything.

I so wanted to scream, "RUN FOR YOUR LIVES, KIDS! HE EATS HUMANS!" But I didn't.

Even with a story about a magical "good luck" raven, they were freaking out. (Above, Quinn is backing up and Bryce is frantically reaching for bread crumbs.) If it had been me in the costume, I would have reveled in the rare chance to silence the kids with shock and awe, but my dad doesn't see the kids very often and I guess he wants to preserve his image of Someone Nicer Than Their Mom, so he came clean right away.

And after that, Quinn completed his transformation to dark overlord. Thanks, Dad.

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