Sunday, August 19, 2012

No more 3x5' least not on this hike.

The kids and I went to Beaman Park this morning and I didn't take my camera. I didn't even take my phone.  And I wonder if I saw them more and a little better.  Of course I won't have an image to look back on of our hike, but I have others.  It made me sing John Mayor's "No more 3x5's" as we walked. 

Judah ran ahead of us, as sure footed as a little (cherubic) mountain goat over roots and rocks.  Uphill and downhill, faster than I was comfortable with, especially on the steeper parts of the trails.  His little chubby legs took him quickly down the path while he enjoyed a rare freedom.  It's hard to let them run ahead on city sidewalks when a few steps off of the sidewalk equals death by cars, but here, in the woods, a few steps off the path, while it may have poison ivy in places, is less of a risk.  Granted there were some tumbles, but nothing a quick brush off couldn't fix.

Cora walked more slowly behind me, searching for treasures on the trail.  Her favorite find was a blue-jay feather.  Rocks and leaves and roots and bugs, she saw them all.  She wanted to climb on the rock wall at the start of the trail and was so proud of herself.  I am too.  In all my mothering ways when it was just me and her, I somehow taught her to be afraid.  I'm sad that I did.  Now I spend time teaching her to not be afraid.  To be brave.  To try.  To practice.  To not give up.  To brush it off when she falls.  She's getting better at it every day.

Then we crossed the road to where the creek runs quickly over flat rocks (less bugs) and we explored the deeper pools of water and rocks until we spotted a snake in the water.  Unsure of what kind it was, we retreated to the shallows just to be safe.*

And me?  I soaked in the green, the blue, the earth, the sound of the creek running, the sound of my feet on the trail, the cold water on my feet.  I taught, I watched, I remembered to look up and enjoy the canopy of leaves above us and the glory around us, and not just down at little ones.

We returned home gloriously grubby and quite content. And now they sleep.  The perfect morning.

*Upon researching when we got home, I'm pretty sure it was a Northern Water Snake and therefore harmless, but there is nothing like thinking through worst case scenarios to get a mama to be more cautious!  We were a long way from help and with questionable cell phone coverage if any of us had gotten hurt.

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