They fight at daybreak over who pours the milk, over getting seat belts fastened in the car, about who said what and who had it first, and anything else that really doesn't matter one bit.
Since hiking Bald Mt. was the ultimate in high-spirited family time, I had high hopes for this weekend to be a break from the bickering that's driving me bananas.
It turns out living in CNY is a prime launching pad for exploring the State's parks, mountains, lakes, etc. Anything involving water always wins with our crew. I've heard 'Ithaca is Gorges' and my husband played football there in college and spoke of it fondly, so a day in Ithaca was in order.
Wowza! A stunning surprise around every bend!
We chose Robert H. Treman State Park, lesser known than Watkins Glen. You can follow the winding trail past waterfalls from the upper rim of the gorge to the bottom, where you can swim beneath a waterfall in a stream-fed pool. It's spectacular!
With three pairs of little legs to look after, I settled for glancing in awe & dashing to protect them quite often. Other hikers paused, taking in the incredible surroundings with sacred silence. You learn to pause for picking up rocks and sitting in caves when you're a parent.
Yet, how can I marvel as I turn a rocky corner to discover a waterfall, when my preschooler is running out of sight &
This is motherhood. The balance of responsibility and revelry.
Sometimes you just plain can't enjoy the small, beautiful things around you. You literally can't.
You're chasing, feeding, gathering, planning, filling, cleaning, teaching, warning, etc. I'm settled into this difficult role now after 7 years. I have found my way, relishing the rewards and ignoring the out-of-touch judg-y folks on the journey, for the most part. Still, moms miss things.
On this trip, I felt taunted by a particular gal about my age, hiking with her dog. She passed us by a few times, each time with a pep in her step and a grin on her fresh face. Her whimsical way was so different from mine (holding a 2 year old and warning adventurous siblings).
But you know, most of the time, the novelty is enough to distract them from their typical shenanigans and sometimes it wears off sooner than you'd hoped.
It's worth the effort.
I may just have to re-visit all the spots we discover with preschoolers one day when they're away at college. And then, I'll likely ache in their absence.
Appropriately adjusted expectations and lots of snacks are the most valuable things in my pack.