I got called back to work the other week after being home with the kids for 13 months. One thing I will miss is our hikes, which often turned into splash parties if there were any bodies of water around.
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“Can we go in?” they’d ask.
Last Spring, we made a point of visiting, discovering, and exploring just about every park in the city and county! And this is when we discovered our love of streams and creeks. Or I discovered their love of them! My kids love to wade in and splash around Carroll, Catoctin, and Owens Creeks. I would head out with a trail or possible hiking area in mind, we’d get to our destination, and somehow they’d get at least their socks and shoes sopping wet! I just had to let it go. They didn’t care about going home wet, and I didn’t worry much about ruining my car or anything because its so old.
As summer came, we definitely favored a few spots such as Cactoctin Creek and River Bend by the Monocacy River. Harriet and Liam marveled at any minnows or larger fish that they found.
And we came better prepared: bathing suits, water shoes, and towels.
I fought off boredom sometimes, but they always had something to point out to me, “Mom! Mom! Look!” when they found yet another different colored minnow, or yet another dragonfly, which they know I love. Harriet has a penchant for butterflies, so we love those, too, and of course all the wildflowers that abound in spontaneous patches along the riverside.
Sometimes I take pictures of their discoveries, sometimes I do not. I like to be in the moment.
So when the temperatures warmed up Sunday, and they asked me if I could take them to a creek, I knew I could find a way after our chores and errands. And Ben could join us this time! So God inspired me to have a pizza picnic for dinner instead!
That evening, we set up along Carroll Creek: gnatty, overgrown grass; towels spread; pizza on a tiny, pop-out table; dandelions everywhere; and kids in their suits and watershoes again, ready to take on Spring 2021! And they went up and down the creek a million times, splashing and playing in the muddy water. They were in heaven. We ate our pizza. Then they came back and picked at second slices and the Cookie Dough bite candy they like to share. Then they splashed some more.
Ben relaxed in his chair, and I wandered along the creek banks and enjoyed the trees.
It really doesn’t take much to make a family happy.
I asked Harriet if she had a good time. “Oh yeah, that was awesome!”