We are going to make memories of a Colorado summer if it kills us. This, apparently, is our motto for this season and if one of the children doesn’t end up soaking wet in a freezing river, covered in a mysterious and itchy rash and/or whining on a forced march of a hike, then Mr. Incredible and I don’t consider our job done.
Actually, we are having a wonderful time. We’ve been camping all over the state and our kids are pros at sleeping in a tent, in a thunderstorm, bathing in a river and finding all sorts of mud and dirt to play in. Violet is a champion hiker and Jack Jack likes riding in the baby carrier. Dash, well, let’s call it character building to take him on a hike.
We’ve camped with grandparents, aunties and uncles, cousins and friends. My sisters came from their homes and we all got together at the headwaters of the Rio Grande river to celebrate my nephew’s first birthday. Jack Jack had the unique experience of not being the baby of the group, and had his nose way out of joint over having his place usurped by a cute interloper. His opinion seemed to be that babies are fine when Skyping on the computer, but not so great when they are in your spot on Grandpa’s lap!
Last week some dear friends made the long drive from the other side of the state to get out of the smokey air of Colorado Springs and to introduce us to the newest member of their family. In my very first blog post, Erin wrote how Jack Jack inspired them to consider adopting a child with special needs, from Reece’s’ Rainbow. They found their daughter on the “other angels” section on the Reece’s’ Rainbow website (i.e. she doesn’t have Down syndrome, but other complicated medical needs) and it was an absolute joy to get to meet her and to see her with her forever family.
We spent a soggy couple of days with them, camping in the San Juan mountains, which are the closest mountains to us, and the most beautiful place in God’s creation. Little J was shy and solemn for the most part, needing lots of time to warm up to people, but she relished her first camping trip and was a super star at eating s’mores and hiking up a steep mountain trail.
I love that we are making memories for our kids that will sustain us in harsher, hotter places in the world. I hope Violet will always remember fording the river with Grandpa and both of them tumbling in, first screaming, then laughing. I hope Dash remembers running from dawn to dark with his cousin and partner in crime, crashing through the woods, pretending to be bears and telling terrible knock knock jokes at dinner.
I know I will remember the sound and smell of a mountain thunderstorm, the way Dash brings me a flower every time he sees a new one, the way Jack Jack determinedly learned to climb a steep, rocky path, the way Violet and Mr. Incredible bonded over their shared love of hiking and throwing cold water on Mom.