This weekend we camped next to a 450 foot pink granite rock with birds to wake us and the stars to tuck us in. On Saturday, Burke’s birthday, the kids and I climbed a large boulder in our PJs. I sipped my first coffee and watched glory rise up their backs and faces. Hundreds of feet below, Mark scrambled eggs and bacon over the fire patiently waiting for us, but only I returned, letting our little mountain goats free for a while on the littler rock. We climbed more that day until our winterized bodies pleaded for us to stop. “Oh dear,” Olive uttered, her eyes following my finger point to the summit, the place we’d climb. She’d be five in a few days, I reminded her, big enough to climb on her own. And we all did although often stopping for the littlest legs and to empty rocks from their sandals. “Step. By. Step,” she says. At the summit, the kids bounced across dark abysses and down into caves, without care or questions of ability. They laughed, implicitly trusting their instincts. It reminded me of parenting in that way, all the time fearlessly crossing abysses.
On Sunday, we abruptly woke up to cold rain drops on our faces. The same open roof that allows the stars, allows the rain. We quickly packed our tents and gear, running laps between our site and car. When we were finished, we drove away, our hearts panting and full.