So we got ready. We threw a few water bottles into a backpack, grabbed a sweatshirt for each boy, and set off for one of our favorite local mountains. By the time we started hiking, it was already 5 pm. Andrew was in John's backpack; the other boys were walking on their own. It was still bright and sunny, but getting late.
(BTW, my camera is being fixed, in a land far, far way (Texas), and I am stuck with my cell phone camera. Better than nothing.)
We started the slow shuffle up the mountain, and after about 50 yards, Sammy was saying "Are we almost there?" A lady on her way down passed us and giggled at his comment. I said, "Um, no. This is going to be a long walk. Put one foot in front of the other and keep moving!" And, after asking the same question three more times (with the same response), he listened!
About a quarter of the way up, the boys took a little break:
Aaron and John (with Andrew on his back) were up ahead, and it was just Sammy and me, trudging along. And he was not complaining. He was just walking, and talking, and getting compliments from the hikers going down:
"Keep it up Buddy!"
and they said to me:
"Startin' em young! That's great."
So, we were both feeling pretty good about ourselves.
After MANY rocky stairways, switchbacks, and conversations about Bobo Fett and Jengo Fett, we made it to the top, and it was GORGEOUS:
it was also
"We are idiots!" I thought to myself "Up here, in the dark, on this mountain, with three children!"
John wasn't at all concerned.
Thankfully, he was also more prepared that I was. He DID think to bring a flashlight
So, after a few crackers, dates, chocolates, and pretzels we headed back down,
through the rocky and steep terrain
in the dark.
With one flashlight between the five of us.
There were a few brave, avid hikers still on their way up.
They were not giving out compliments.
Instead they had questioning looks on their face which probably betrayed their thoughts:
"Nutty people, up here in the dark with three children!"
No one was patting us on the back now.
But it continued to be gorgeous.
And no one was complaining.
As the night grew darker,
and the footing less visible,
and Sammy continued to trip
(while holding my hand),
I continued to worry,
There is no one out here!
Someone could trip!
Someone could fall and hurt himself!
John could fall and hurt himself and Andrew!
And THEN how will we get down?
I started to think of hikers lost on trails
and trapped on Mt. Everest (it was kinda cold out there...)
and helicopter rescues
And then I would try to relax, and look around and enjoy the beauty.
Because that seemed to be what John, and Aaron, and Andrew were already doing.
Sammy was still talking about Jengo Fett.
I spent much of the walk down wondering if this was
a beautiful adventure
or a foolhardy endeavor.
We could have been safely at home,
But we would have missed this:
and the thrill,
and the sweet conversations.
We made it to the bottom
you have to take risks,
despite the worry
and potential trips and falls.
Sometimes that is hard for me to remember.
Have you been on any
foolhardy endeavors beautiful adventures lately?
"Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing."