Dave and a friend from church/work, Jared, took the kids on a hike up Eagle's Peak. Eagles Peak is on the USAFA grounds. The kids happily got up at 6am to leave by 7am. They had a blast! The trail is apparently very steep and rocky, so they also got a lot of good exercise.
Before Dave showed me the above picture of my babies climbing just above a jagged, rocky, steep cliff, he said something to the effect of "Don't get mad at me, everyone was fine." As soon as I saw the picture and took a deep breath, I told him "this is why kids have Dad's!" Experiences like safely climbing up rocky ledges and scaling steep grades would not happen as often if Dad's did not take their kids to experience them. Dad's are notoriously less "babying" of their kids. A Mom looks at her child; memories and scents and feelings flood her mind of birthing this child, nurturing this child at her breast, kissing owies, smoothing a fevered brow. Combine that with "dangerous" activities and the possibility of broken bones, blood oozing and her baby crying and screaming...thus the dilemma a mother faces when her children grow older and their realm of experiences expand. I feel this way not only when it comes to steep cliffs and jagged rocks, but also when my children are near water (geez...especially if they actually want to get in the water) or in crowded places (ya know...where a child is going to be lost and/or stolen at any moment.) This is, very wisely, why God made Dads. He knew that if it were up to us Moms, the kids would be safely within arms reach (preferably wrapped in bubble wrap with emergency contact info taped inside) until they are 20.
The kids with Jared. This is one of my favorite pictures from their hike! Those trees are awesome!
The kids in a cool little cave they found. As soon as I saw this picture I asked Dave, "did you check it for mountain lions first?" He didn't...and I worried. :) I worried, ya know, hours later after this had already happened. Another typical mom thing.
Of course my worry is well-founded. There is a sign at the trail head, warning that mountain lions are in the area and what to do to give yourself the best odds of not being eaten, should you run into one. (For those of you who wonder, you are supposed to stop and look at the mountain lion, but not in an aggressive, stare-down way. Then you are to slowly pick up small children so they appear larger and less like a small, tasty snack. Then you are to make yourself look bigger by raising your arms and spreading out your jacket. Then you make low, shewing noises to try and frighten it away. The whole time you pray...hard. The sign did not come out and say to pray hard, but I think it is implied!)
They all came home in mostly one piece (they each showed me all their cuts and scrapes and bruises before they were even all the way in the front door) and all very, very happy. :) I am happy they have such a great Dad who takes them to do things their Mom would freak out about. :) It's a good balance.
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