Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Last Monday I arrived home from picking up the children at school and Luke declared we were taking a trip to the creek below our house.
No one was left behind this time.
We have recently (Luke discovered) an old wagon trail behind our house. There is a large iron eye pounded down into the ground that we have been told was used to help hook and lower wagons over and down the ridge. The deep ruts from the large wooden wheels are still there in some places.
I have a hard time visualizing these wagons being lowered anywhere behind our house. I had a fun time hanging onto a toddler and slipping and climbing our way down to the creek, let alone lower anything like a wagon down.

I saw all varieties of ferns and moss growing on our little hike down.
Nathaniel has always been to young to haul down and then back up the steep climb. There is a lot of bending under branches and fallen trees and climbing over rocks. You can't put a baby in a backpack and hike where we like to go. You'd end up with cuts and scratches and a very unhappy little one. It was also be difficult to carry a small person down without accidentally falling. Luke is trying to hack a path out to the creek this year to make it easier.
But the hike was worth it to see this:

It was peaceful
It was quiet.
I could have spent all day down here with a blanket and pen and notebook listening to the quiet laughing of the water as it danced it's way past.

Just two weeks ago the floods that devastated some families here also brought the water (as best as we can estimate) about 10 or so feet above normal creek level. Luke is pointing to debris hanging in branches above his head. Precious Jewel is a good 3 feet below him.
He said that the creek looked different and the embankment had shifted dramatically.

The water had totally carved out under this old tree above and the kids got a good first hand lesson on what tree roots truly look like.

Just a few days after this hike Precious Jewel handed me a Mother's Day card that said thank you for taking her to the creek.
She had made it in school BEFORE Mother's Day.
I was a bit confused.
We had not gone yet. Can we say she was hinting at my finally going?
Then when Luke announced that that day was a warm enough day and the water had receded enough and Nater Mater was old enough to climb down and back up with us, I understood she and him had been discussing this very trip.
It was nearly 5pm and I had not yet started dinner and it was a school night.
I hesitated and then said yes.

It wasn't until the 2 days later she gave me her Mother's Day card and I realized what I would have missed if I had said no...if I had stuck to my schedule and routine (which I very much like) and had told them to go ahead and go without me.
My days are FULL of little ones. My own and other people's.
I enjoy the evenings when the children are all in bed and quiet and I have some moments to just myself.
But I would have missed this if I had stuck to the routine...

...Moments of watching them run delightedly through the water stomping and splashing without a care in the world and all the pain it can hold.
The moments of childhood that can't be brought back.
The moments of innocence that we adults can never go back too.
Childhood. This Time. These Moments can run past us as fast as the water flows down our little creek behind our house never to be seen again.
There is always time for responsibility and chores and bedtimes and schedules to stick to.
A family needs consistency and regularity.

A family also needs a time of unbridled spontaneous fun when all schedule and time are thrown out the window and we follow daddy to the creek to skip rocks and stomp and splash when we are normally heading inside for dinner.

These are the memories I want to cherish. These are the memories I want to hold in my heart forever.


Wendy said...

oh wow, Melinda! Awesome post! I try to stop and savor those moments, but, like you, I rely on our schedules and routines. Glad you saw fit to "seize the day"!

Miriam said...

Looks like a wonderful family outing!

joy lindeen said...

what a good lesson! I pray I remember that! Love you so much!!!