November 18, 2009
I feel like I write the same blog over and over, soapbox after soapbox, to the point where I grow tired of my own words. But since the major reason for the blog is to hold tight to memories, I'll suffer through myself again. Anyone else reading is just a glutton for punishment. But again, for record keeping purposes~
Every few months, I take my cousin Ashley on a 'date.' We go to the bookstore or to a movie, or to her most favorite and my least favorite, the mall. She loves these dates, as do I. We've been doing them for a few years and she finds something cool about riding in my car and spending the day with someone so cool :) Well, for about a year now, I've been saying that we needed to start including her little sister, now 3, in the shenanigans. As hesitant as I was about wrangling two little gremlins, I couldn't resist the pouty face she makes when left out of the fun.
So this Sunday, we met for lunch after church and did the carseat exchange. After scouring the newspaper for recession style fun things for kids and coming up empty, I decided to take them on a "nature walk" at the Chattahoochee River. R and I love this place and have spent many a Sunday here. We changed into "hiking" clothes (my little kitty rain boots for Alyse and Mary Jane crocs for Ashley), put the puppy on a leash, and headed to the river. And it was a hit. The girls loved it. We looked at leaves and threw rocks in the river. We headed onto a trail and hiked further up than I would have ever imagined a 22lb 3-year-old could do. Monty led the way and the girls followed. After realizing that the leaves we were going to use for our "art" project were too wet, I remembered something from the early days at BSS. I quickly called the domestic one, little sis Katie, and she refreshed my memory on pine cone bird seeders. OH the excitement from the kids. We packed up 30 of the driest, best shaped pine cones, some acorns for decoration and a few oddly shaped rocks. Only when we got to the top of this first section of gorge did I realize that going down that steep hill with said 3-year-old, bouncing puppy and 7-year-old may be tough. So before any meltdowns had time to ensue, we headed south. The girls were ecstatic. We sang Christmas carols in the woods and talked about what we were thankful to the Lord for (dogs and owls and sisters, to be exact). I walked along and thought, if this is motherhood, sign me up. It was lovely.
On the way out, Ashley stopped and said, "cousin-aunt Keri, I wish we had a camera. This is a beautiful picture." So I grabbed the cell phone and took a photo. My tech-savvy husband managed to send it in an email.
I think Ashley was right. It was a beautiful picture. It was a beautiful day with my little 'cousin-nieces' and I'm so grateful for them. After ending the day rolling those pine cones in peanut butter and coating them with birdseed, they even had bird feeders as souveneirs! I'm almost out of peanut butter at home now, but the smile on their faces and the look of their sticky little hands was worth every bit!
Prior to picking the kids up that morning, R and I started Sunday at Mass. Fr. Fallon talked about the current day "anti christ" (past "AntiChrists have been communism, nazism) as being secularism and materialism. He talked about our need for things and our deviation away from things that matter.
I thought about this whilst in the woods with the little gremlins. If the economy were thriving and social workers at Grady had gotten a raise this year, I may have been sucked into the materialism and taken the kids to the mall. And they would have liked it 1/10 as much as they liked the woods. As Ashley said "this is the best date we ever had." I'm glad I was forced to look at the beauty of what God made for us, a big, beautiful, free playground. Here's hoping that I find ways to turn my back on materialism and open my eyes to the natural beauties around me.