Remember the Way Home

3 years ago

We piled six bikes onto the back of her truck...

her bike
my bike
her son's bike
my son's bike
her daughter's bike
my daughter's bike
Since our hubbies had to work (and school was closed)   
it didn't take a mathematician to figure out that...
bikes + kids + holiday in Southern CA = the perfect beach day
She came to pick us up
and once all of our bikes were strategically placed onto the back of her truck
we climbed in
my daughter
her daughter
her son
my son
and we set out for another family field trip adventure...
Once at the beach
we found parking
unloaded the bikes and took off
We were riding along the way when the children noticed a sand dune
so they...
veered off the trail
hopped off their bikes and
ran across the sandy slopes to explore
She and I stayed back to chat,
but when we looked up a moment later, our boys were gone
"Where are your brothers?"
we shouted over to the girls and they pointed down the other side of the hill toward the ocean
Well it doesn't take a mathematician to figure out that...
two boys + sand + water = a muddy mess
"Tell the boys to come back up"
and with that the girls also disappeared
And for a moment
in the silence...
we wondered
we watched
we waited
with only remnants of childhood still visible
a deserted bike
an empty hill 
until one...


and finally all four...

children were back

And in that moment I realized that this is what motherhood is about...
Allowing your children the freedom to explore
the other side of the hill
the ocean side of the hill
without you
and it can be scary
not being able to
see them
reach them
touch them
and knowing that there is a great big ocean over there ready to swallow them whole
(just as would life itself)
but you remind yourself that...
they know not to go in the water
they can still hear your voice
they have each other
So you stand and wait there alone in silence
watching the hill in faith that 
they are mature enough to handle this
and you are sure that
they will make their way back safely
you also know
that they know 
that the only way home 
is on this side of the hill

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