When Big E was not quite two we were at the park when I saw a little boy give his mother a dandelion.
"Here mom, this flower is for you," the boy said.
"Honey, you have to stop picking all the flowers!" the mom said. Not, "thank you, sweetheart," or "Wow, you're so thoughtful."
I was appalled, shocked that a mother could miss the beauty of her son giving her a token of his affection. I judged her. Isn't motherhood about savoring those special moments?
Three years later, I am that mother.
Big E and little g are quite possibly the most loveable children in existence. First thing in the morning they want nothing more than to snuggle with their mama. Follow that up with holding hands, hugs and kisses, or in Big E's case running catapult jumps onto my lap, piggie back rides and clutching onto my ankle as I try to walk around the living room. Every minute, every hour, for the rest of the day.
After hours of thoughtful, loving tokens of affection from my children, the constant poking, prodding, touching and caressing feels more like I'm an animal in a petting zoo, on the brink of going rabid. Do you have to grab my arm throughout ALL of dinner? Why did you just put your finger in my ear? No, little g, that is not a nipple it's a mole, thank you very much.
Now I understand that mom at the park. Perhaps her dandelion came after hours of her son picking every flower in her neighbor's yard. Maybe her walk to the park was longer than an hour because her son wanted to stop at every single bloom.
I get it now. Maybe when my tots are older and my lonely arms starve for their affection I will miss these days of constant touch. But for now, all I want at the end of the day is to not be used as a pillow, trampoline or mode of transportation. Tots, I love you, but please just don't touch me.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Monday, December 2, 2013
Renee took me on what she described as a beginner's mountain biking trail. I would describe Rustler's Loop as an expert route compared to the flat, paved, traffic free bike path I am used to riding. Rattling along rocky ruts and puffing up steep inclines, was difficult but surprisingly fun.
Sign posts along the trail and Renee's coaching helped give me confidence on the bumpy, rock strewn path. I was glad someone was there to remind me, "Don't panic and squeeze your brakes too hard downhill" and "Keep your speed up in this area, you'll need it in the uphill section that follows." Once I got past the fear of destroying the borrowed bike on the rocky road, I became more comfortable with pedaling and steering and even hit this amazing section of road!
The whole 3.5 mile trail only took about an hour, and I had so much fun I'm ready to do it again. It was a blast!
For directions to the trailhead click here.
Length: 3.5 miles
Time: about 1 hour
Elevation Change: about 300 feet
Tips: Signs along the trail help beginners like me know what's coming next.
Friday, November 29, 2013
Coke Ovens Overlook Trail connects with several other trails in the Colorado National Monument system. Along the way, Big E pretended to be a jedi, randomly making light saber sounds toward juniper trees, rock cairns and his sister. We chose this trail because it was short, relatively flat and featured a fenced off viewing area at the end, where the tots could all climb and play two year old hide and seek in safety.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
I was impressed with the number of kid friendly hiking options (short and flat) in Colorado National Monument. The first trail we chose was just one mile east of the Visitor's Center. Otto's Trail is a fun, quick hike to a beautiful overlook area of Pipe Organ and Independence Monument rock formations. My tots and I were there along with my old friend and author Renee Collins. The wild west setting in her debut novel Relic was inspired by the desolate beauty of Colorado National Monument.
The hike was only half a mile there and back. The only difficult part of the trail was that near the overlook area, if you or your tots stray too far off the trail you'll drop off a cliff and plummet dangerously to the rocks below, you are walking on the top of a plateau after all.
Otto's Trail in Colorado National Monument was fun, quick and relatively painless. Plus the views at the end were amazing.
Otto's Trail Info:
Length: 0.5 miles round trip
Time: 45 minutes, less without tots
Tips: Don't let your kids fall off the edge.