The cool breezes of fall have been threatening and so we decided to take a leisurely hike up to Queen Lake last evening.
However, if you’re a blonde five-year-old, leisurely is not in your vocabulary. You will start off at almost a dead run.
Two minutes into it, you will decide you need to water some weeds. But the weeds you decide to water aren’t right next to the path. No, you think you must go partway down the mountainside to get the job done. You will also get sidetracked by the beautiful and various weeds while doing the said job. Finally, you see your mom’s scowling face through the bushes as you reluctantly climb back up to the path.
Off to the races once again. And since your grandma had recently instilled in you the love of herbs, weeds, and flowers, you will be grabbing as many as possible along the pathway. However, Mom catches you trying to stuff them into your hat and incredulously asks “what are you doing?”
To which your reply is this: “I’m saving these weeds for later so I can remember this hike!” For some strange reason, Mom does not seem as impressed as you’d hoped she’d be. She tells you to stuff it on your head, but that is a mite difficult to do. So she relents and lets you hold it. What a merciful mom.
Still in the process of grabbing leaves, your sister behind you decides that a leaf hanging from a tall bush looks promising. She didn’t count on the fact that letting go of the branch caused it to smack Mom right in the face. Now there are two of you on the run with Mom bringing up the rear.
After climbing up a steep slope, you finally reach the lake. Dad and Mom sit down to enjoy the view while you go leaping off of rocks and standing as close as possible to the lake without falling in. Snacks are found in all backpacks except yours since you had informed Dad that you didn’t need snacks because you could just eat flowers like Grandma taught you. However, your parents are wise beyond their years and had packed some for you anyway.
These, too, are eaten on the run.
After a while, Dad and Mom decide it’s time to head back up the trail. Mom, who is forever and always cold, makes you take your jacket out of your backpack. But once again she is merciful and lets you tie it around you instead of putting the horrid thing on.
On the way back, you begin to realize you are tired and so Merciful Mom takes your backpack off and carries it for you. She looks to be regretting her decision now that you have more energy to pepper her with questions.
Since Big Brother up ahead can spit a bigger wad than you, you think this would be a good time to practice. All the big stones along the pathway now bear the evidence that you are doing better with your aim. But there’s a question burning the tip of your tongue…
“Mom, do we never run out of that stuff?”
“You mean saliva?”
“Nope.” (Mom’s not into long sentences as she’s looking rather winded.)
“How do we never run out?”
Here is where Mom realizes her next answer could lead to a 5-part lecture on the functions of our anatomy, or it could silence the little fellow so she can go on breathing on this hike.
Silenced, you remark to your sis: “Megan, it’s like we have a squirt-gun in our mouth!” How cool is that!
Little brother, who is currently being held in Mom’s arms, loves to copy you. And seeing you spit a wad decides he’d like to try it too. Only he doesn’t
know how to aim. His spitwad almost met Mom’s cheek.
Finally, Dad’s little orange Jeep is spotted, backpacks are loaded, and little bodies jump on board. You promptly pull your hat over your eyes and fall asleep.
Mom is left wondering how in the world she’ll ever get all that boundless energy focused in the right direction. If only she could see you in twenty years, her heart would rest better. But although she can’t, she knows God can.
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