Some dads sit their children down, and have an emotional heart to heart about important life lessons and the world we live in (cue the Harry Chapin).
Other dads slap a pair of roller blades onto their hapless kid, and schlepp them on a cross-country trip lasting weeks and spanning hundreds of miles, in order to make crystal clear the fact that, well, life sure can suck sometimes.
That's exactly what happened in late March, when one father reportedly took his four-year-old son on a 14-day skate adventure from their home in Puyang, a city in China's Henan province, all the way to Beijing, some 320 miles away.
According to Shanghaiist, the Cool Dad in question is a 39 year old truck driver, identified by his surname, Zhang. While his wife was away visiting her hometown, Zhang decided that now would be perfect for some father-son bonding time. So, the two reportedly set out down China's highway 106, roller blading from town to town, and stopping to snap a picture at each new place.
And why would a father subject his pint-sized progeny to the kind of grueling vacation that would make even the perennially-lampooned Griswold family think twice?
"Even though my son was in tears several times, he never gave up," Shanghaiist quotes Zhang as explaining. "That was the purpose of the journey, to train him to persevere."
In other words, though life is hard, it's important to push through—admittedly, not the worst lesson to impart from generation to generation, but surely there's an easier way to do so than this?
While it remains possible that this entire episode is nothing but an elaborate hoax, it managed to rile up Netizens across Chinese social media, including microblogging site Sina Weibo, where the pictures ended up. Reactions were reportedly mixed, with some praising Zhang's motive—if not his method—while others lent support to the adventure as a whole.
After two weeks on the road, the father-son pair arrived in Beijing early this month, and are said to have gone sightseeing before finally heading home.
They took the train.