My thoughts went back to Christmas, 2 years back, when YaYa’s godparents gave a “survival basket” to Elizabeth’s parents. Elizabeth was in 8th grade student at the time, and this basket was apparently filled with several of the must-haves to get through the final year at our Catholic (pre-K through 8th) school. As I remember, the basket was quite LARGE.
Now that YaYa is in his 8th grade year, and the emails are landing in my inbox with all of the things I should’ve done but haven’t, I really want to know what on earth was in that basket. At this point in the game, we are only a couple of weeks into the school year and, already, I am overwhelmed.
Everything we are doing seems to be grounded in the future. Photos for the yearbook and end of year slideshow, shadowing appointments and applications for high school, high school placement tests, retreats… It all must be done NOW, and it’s only the first few weeks of school.
All the while, I resist being pulled into the future. I cling tightly to the hear and now. After all, I’ve been trying so hard to be nowhere else but here.
I really want this last year before high school to go slowly. Already, I see so many changes in my baby boy. Changes that tell me that he is no longer a boy, but a man. That’s enough to contend with. I’m in no rush to see him move on to high school and soon after off to college. I’m not ready for to be an empty nester. My nest is empty enough already.
Well, this 3 day weekend was just the gift from the heavens I needed. In between Saturday morning’s football practice and Sunday late afternoon game, we got back packin’ out to the nearby mountains.
What could be better? Trees, clean air, ice cold water from the falls, and two of my favorite men.
YaYa did extremely well. Like a mountain goat, he bounded up each of the ascents and ran down the each of the descents. Even with our late start, we blasted through the 6 miles to camp in less than 2 1/2 hours (stops included). Once at camp, we laughed about being just the slightest bit worried (mostly about YaYa) after a couple we met in the parking lot had warned us that the trail was [how did he say it?]… “BRUTAL.”
As for the return portion of the loop? It too was beautiful offering a similar challenge level. Although YaYa queried nearly every person coming from the other direction about just how much further it was to park headquarters, he was not the least bit tired. He just wanted to insure he had time for a juicy hamburger and fries before his big football game.
It was a great getaway and I’m so glad that we managed to carve out just enough time to get back packin’ for one more time this summer.