We have returned from our adventure in the great outdoors.
Literally, there was no phone service.
The directions read like this : turn left at McDonald’s, go 5 miles. Turn left at the furniture store. At second right, follow the road to the T. At the T, go left and stay on the left side of the fork in the road. At the Taxidermist, turn left and follow the dirt road 2 miles. Cabin on right.
Yep (cue banjo music).
There was also lots of this:
“She touched me!” “She doesn’t like me!” “I don’t wanna…” “STOP!” “Do NOT hang over the porch railing!” “Wash your hands!” “Uh-huh” “Nuh-uh” “(insert copious amounts of tears here)” “It’s a walking stick, not a lightsaber!” “Wear bug spray!” “Go ahead…” “You want to do WHAT?” “Be nice to the little ones!”
We also managed to fit in some horseback riding, (the boys went) whitewater rafting, fishing, shopping, and just relaxing.
However, there was more to it than just that.
I learned something really important.
Jack is almost 4. He wanted to do what the other kids were doing. Sometimes that was OK, and other times it just wasn’t possible.
He only asked for one thing the whole time we were there (well, besides the diggers and a bunny).
He said he wanted to “Cwime Moufain” (climb mountain).
We went to Carter’s Lake dam, and he wanted to climb the rocks. So, we climbed the rocks. Granted, it was spur of the moment and I was wearing flip flops, but we managed!
We went to the highest waterfall east of the Mississippi river…and he got to “hike” in the woods.
I looked a lot at the rocks in the stream behind our cabin. Over time, water washes over them creating different shapes and sizes. Some get beautiful and smooth while others get sharp and jagged, ready to slice through an unsuspecting foot wading through.
That’s sort of how I perceive Jack’s life. It’s going to be difficult. He is going to be treated harshly by some, gently by others. The water is going to run over his soul, and he (and possibly I) will run the risk of becoming jagged and jaded. Jealousy could haunt the darkest corners of his heart. And if it did, I would always wonder, “What if I had taken him to do the things that he thought he couldn’t do?”
I will do whatever it takes to protect my children…to guarantee that their hearts stay open, accepting, and kind. Until he is too big for me to handle, I will strap him on my back and show him the world that he yearns to see!
In the special needs world, they sometimes use the word “perseverance” to talk about obsessive behaviors. Webster defines the same word as “persistent determination.” I love the word. 2 completely different connotations depending on how you look at the coin. So much like the life we lead…the choices we make… the paths we follow.