Last weekend, Cam, Kate, Mike, and I took a much needed vacation to Colorado Springs to see our dear friends, Brice and Missy. We wanted to get away one last time before things get crazy in a few weeks.
I’ll simply say that I am in love with the mountains. They make me feel whole. I’m the me I’m supposed to be when I’m there. And I absolutely adore spending time immersed in nature with Cam. He could have happily spent the entire day hunting for pine cones, tossing them into the stream, and watching them make their way through the obstacle course of stones and branches that rippled the water.
And I could have happily spent the entire day watching and helping him. Mike is more of a coast guy, and don’t get me wrong, the beach can be a nice getaway, too. But there’s just something about the mountains. My most vivid memories from childhood are of times spent hiking through the woods or trailblazing a path through Garden of the Gods on family vacations.
When I was a little girl, my Uncle Mark and Aunt Nancy babysat me and my sister and brothers during the summer. Mark would often take us on hikes through the timber behind their farmhouse and carve tree branches into walking sticks for us to use as we explored. One autumn day, he brought out a pumpkin that he had precarved (we didn’t know it at the time) and pulled out a worn and long lost map of a trail that led to a magic pumpkin seed hidden in a secret place. We trekked through the trees with our walking sticks, picked at the soft mica under a stream that marked a turn in the path, and found the magic seed that had been hidden under a special rock. Although we weren’t in the mountains, there was something magical about being surrounded by the trees and sounds while we explored. These are adventures I would love to take my own kids on some day. I’m hoping I can convince Mike to make the mountains our home after our two-year stint in the city.
Another high of our Rocky Mountain weekend was watching Cam make a new friend. He and Britton, Brice and Missy’s son, hit it off immediately. Cam socializes frequently, but I’ve never seen him as comfortable with a fellow kid as he was this weekend. I could not get enough of seeing these two wresting, hugging, and just being rowdy little boys together. They were like long-lost brothers! It was a really special bond to witness.
Brice and Missy also took us on a trip to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo where Cam got to pet and feed the gigantic “jaffs” (typically accompanied by a “raaahhr”), which was just awesome. Animals and their sounds take up a significant chunk of his growing vocab, so experiencing and touching one that he’s only seen in pictures or from a distance was exciting, to say the very least.
Typically, he won’t keep a hat on for more than a minute, but since his new bud, Britton, was wearing one, Cam wanted to be just like him. 🙂
And finally, we got to spend time with our friends. In my experience as a military spouse, I’ve been able to meet an amazing group of women. Missy is one of those. Having often lived in places where our families weren’t–including our husbands since they were frequently deployed–we’ve relied on each other in ways most women who are married probably haven’t. Brice and Mike have stayed close friends throughout the years, too, which is such a perk. You know how it goes. Typically, either the wives are closer friends than the husbands or vice versa. So it’s awesome to have a close couple friend who has babies the same ages as ours. They just get it.
Next week’s adventure: flying to NYC to apartment hunt! Send us good vibes for a spacious, affordable, close-to-school-and-subway apartment. I’ll update you next week!
Momma’s Ruby Slippers by Kendra Canty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License