It started with a simple question on a beautiful fall day.
"Do you want to go for a hike in the woods?"
I did, of course.
But as a mom (or perhaps it's just me?) the question was met with a barrage of internal dialogue that went something like this:
"Will it be a date – just the two of us? And if so, how are we convincing the kids to stay home? Or will it be a family walk, and if so, how will we convince the kids to come along? Also, what about dinner? I need to start cooking around 4:30 and I still haven't thawed meat. Will we be home by 4:30 or does our walk in the woods involve researching Instant Pot recipes for two hours before we go?"
You get me, so I suspect you understand my dialogue. (Perhaps you even have your own on occasion.)
Rather than speak my quiet madness aloud I simply said, "Yeah, okay. Yeah! That sounds really nice."
And – as it turns out – it wasn't a date. The kids were willing to come along. (With varying degrees of enthusiasm from wildly positive to cautiously reserved.)
To quiet my noisy self-talk about dinner I hastily tossed some vegetables, four hot dogs and two andouille sausages, a box of matches, a bundle of newspaper, and drinks for everyone into a backpack and we were off.
To the creek. To the woods. To the quiet.
We hiked to our campfire ring in the hills and struck a fire. ("Without any newspaper!" I proudly reported. Because we found birch bark. "And without any matches!" added Sage humorously, as though we'd brought – and had success – with flint and steel. In reality it was because the boys brought lighters.)
And there we were… in the forest. Roasting our dinner over the fire on whittled sticks, begin scolded by red squirrels and watching the leaves swirl around us as the sun slipped below the trees.
We stayed until long after dark, then fumbled our way home through the woods and across the creek in darkness. Back in the kitchen we made popcorn for a snack and chatted until bedtime, then fell asleep smiling, our hair scented like woodsmoke.
Do you want to go for a hike in the woods?
My questions and chatter have been silenced by the woods. Now my answer is simply "yes".
And, indeed, I am so happy that you asked.