Last week was a tough one. Between sickness, a forgetful mama brain and some unforeseen changes in plans, I was tense, impatient and irritable. So when I learned of a toddler-led hike on the schedule this morning with my Hike It Baby Acworth group, I was hellbent on making it, and not just because my kids love the great outdoors and *typically* behave better and nap better when they exert extra energy.
Hiking with three young kids is nothing like hiking with a group of adults. On our hikes, I’m a broken record hollering at James Michael to slow down as he tries to edge farther and farther ahead of the group. Meanwhile, Scarlett is strapped to my front and an empty carrier is strapped to my back, knowing that at some point Beau will get too tired to walk and need to be carried. But until then, he trods along slowly, holding my finger and trying his best to step over every rock and root, but tripping up every few minutes. Thankfully, Scarlett is easy-going, and how could she not be with the best seat in the house, facing outward on my chest.
So I wouldn’t exactly assert that hiking with littles is relaxing, because as a Mama, you never let your guard down and are always on alert for danger. But this hike came at the perfect time and was just what this Mama heart needed.
It was a morning free from my everyday (often trivial) worries. I didn’t worry about the clothes that have been wrinkling in the dryer two days or the huge pile of crumbs under my kids’ table. I didn’t contemplate about how to get the stains of sickness out of my carpet or the pen marks off my loveseat. I didn’t think about what we are going to have for dinner tomorrow or what I need to pack to go out of town this weekend. I didn’t worry about my kids hitting the ‘right’ growth and developmental milestones. I didn’t wonder if my boys have more tantrums than the average kid or why Scarlett has been waking up four times at night the past week. I didn’t question my mothering capabilities or why my disciplining tactics work for one child and not the other.
No, instead I lived in the moment. I breathed in the fresh air, which in turn, renewed my spirit and strengthened my Mama heart. I watched my boys be boys, exploring nature and testing its limits, and at times, mine. I soaked in my surroundings, and my heart lifted as soon as we spied the creek. As serene as water can be at times, its power in the form of life giver and sustainer has me in awe. I’m amazed how the once jagged creekbed rocks have become smooth over time from the slow and steady stream.
In this world, I am simply one rough and jagged rock among many. My own imperfections and doubts often have me second-guessing my God-given purpose and my future direction. And though this little hike seems so small in the grand scheme of things, the fresh air and immersion in nature helped to smooth over my rough edges just a little more and remind me that the ultimate Life Giver and Sustainer is in control, throughout the good weeks and the bad.