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Monday, July 23, 2012


I took the girls on their first "real" hike up a (mini) mountain. It was more of a hill to be exact, but shhhhh...don't tell them.

Ella reminds me so much of me sometimes it is a tiny bit painful.  She was intent on packing food for the hike.  She wanted to eat lunch on top of a mountain.  (Which we did at 10:15 a.m.)  She wanted to have the right outfit on.  She wanted to tell me in excruciating detail about every physical experience she was having as we made out way uphill through the woods. 

But, and here is the hallmark of me, she couldn't resist talking about her (very recently acquired) big dreams for future mountains.   And what we would pack.  And when we would go.  And what it would feel like.
I found myself both craving the quiet hush of the woods and being thoroughly amused by her monologue.  I had initially felt nervous about the possible presence of bears (my momma brain likes to worry these things through when there is just me alone with the girls- would I make a lot of noise, crouch down with my body covering the girls, would I try to place them up in a tree?) but there was no need for fear.  Having Ella in the woods is like having someone blowing a whistle in scheduled increments. 

Looking into this mirror that is Ella is humbling, self-reflective, humorous and heart-warming.  Despite the parts of me that she may find difficult to manage, she is indeed her own person and is blossoming into incredible young girl.  Lost are the tendencies toward insecurity and tenuousness.  They have been replaced by a sure footedness, a growing understanding of her place in the world and a want for more things she can do on her own.  I'm incredibly proud of our girl.

We hiked up little Chick Hill in Clifton and I was impressed by the girls' speed. This hike takes Sandi and I probably 15-20 minutes.  It took the girls and me (with Maya on my back for about half of it) about 40 minutes.  Not too shabby.

Chick Hill is a perfect beginner hike because it isn't too long and is only steep at the end for which little eyes are rewarded with sweeping views.   The girls were SO proud of themselves.

My mom gave them this book recently.  It is kind of a how-to on fairy house making, something the girls thoroughly enjoy doing.  We decided to put it to good use with the limited amount of natural debris atop the windy peak.

Luckily the fairies aren't too picky.

Zucchini bread, sliced nectarines, cheese sticks and chocolate chip cookies never tasted so good.

When we got to the bottom, Maya, who had ridden the whole way down on my back, said, "Well, that was fast."

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