August 05, 2005

Hiking with my oldest son

The trail guide classified the trail as rugged which meant that it went up and down sand dunes. The first time I hiked that particular trail was thirteen years ago. It was a misty day in June and I was hiking with my son Boy in Black, who had just turned four. Dressed in a black t-shirt and shorts, his little legs churned up sand as he scrambled up the trail. I was worried that Boy in Black might get tired or bored so I made sure to rest often, offering him juice and snacks out of my backpack. He loved the hike: like me, he enjoyed the contrast of the woods with the sweep of the sand dunes, and the view of Lake Michigan from the tops of the dunes. He especially loved running down the sand dunes.

Just last week, I hiked the same trail, again with Boy in Black. He is almost a foot taller than me now, with the muscular body and relentless energy of a seventeen-year-old. It was a hot day, in the 90s and humid, but the dunes were still exciting, with spectacular views of the lake. Boy in Black, unaffected by the heat or the hills, strode ahead but stopped every once in a while to make sure that I could keep up. When he thought I looked tired, he took off his backpack, handed me a water bottle, and offered me a snack.

11 comments:

Oliver said...

I love the way you write jo(e) - you make all the simple things come alive. I love the stories you share with us.

jo(e) said...

Thanks, OliverBrave.

ABDmom said...

What a great story. Thanks for sharing.

Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

Aw, you raised a good'un.

Phantom Scribbler said...

Oh, that's so sweet! And you tell this story with such economy, jo(e) -- you make it look deceptively easy.

Hmmmm. Now, my four-year-old still insists on being carried during hikes, during which time he chatters like a madman and whines incessantly.

In thirteen years, do you suppose he will carry *me* (or my husband, really) while I chatter and whine?

Songbird said...

Thanks, jo(e).

Friday Mom said...

Great post, Jo(e).

Pink Cupcake said...

What a wonderful story - I love the way you tell them, Jo(e).

Lorna said...

I love this.

as a mum to two teenagers and just stepping into this era with my 15 year old son, your post made me cry. must be my hormones !!

blessings

RussianViolets said...

Joe(e), I want to know how your learned to write the way you do. Your writing moves me every time, and this is no exception.

Julie said...

Your story moved me deeply! My oldest is only 9 but every day I see hints in him of the teenager and adult he will become. At the same time, that four year old is gone forever.

Well, this was an emotional day for me for other reasons, too. (*wringing out the kleenex*)