Sunlight filtering down through the treetops. Hammock gently swaying beneath me. Wispy breeze playing with my hair. Water rushing over rocks, creating the most melodic sound. Morgan crawls into the hammock next to me. The top of her hair ever so gently coming to rest on the side of my cheek. And I inhale the joy of the moment. and I whisper, "I love you Morgan." and she whisper's back, "I love you too, mommy." And I smile. I can no longer sign 'mommy' to the notes I leave in her lunch box, she is 'too old' for that. But for some reason on this quiet afternoon, I am still her 'mommy' along this creek's edge. It's a moment I want to carry in my heart for always.
Bursting from within her is excitement to deep to contain. It is Mother's Day Weekend and something within Sarah wants to make it special for me. All weekend she keeps pausing to give me hugs, "I love you mommy!", "Happy Mother's Day weekend!" She can't WAIT to give me their present. She keeps trying to give me clues every time she thinks of one. She is thrilled with the gift that Mike took her and Morgan to pick out for me. She knows I will "LOVE IT!" She tells me this many times. Then she wants to give me back rubs and back massages, so she keeps asking, "Can I give you another back itch?" I love how she words things sometimes - you can't help but smile. And every time I look at her, she smiles. Her big grin that comes from the depth of her soul and spills out and blesses all those around. And I hope nothing in life ever steals that smile away from her.
On our second night camping, a young couple set up camp next to us. I looked at Mike and said "They remind me of us many years ago...how did we get from there to here?" He said he thought the same thing and then added more that made me smile. But seeing this unknown couple made me thankful that Mike decided to venture into parenthood with me - and that our days camping are now filled with the memories that include two beautiful daughters. It makes me think of the song "Then" by Brad Paisley, that says, "we've come so far since that day, and I thought I loved you then..." and goes on to say "
I thought of my own mom this weekend a lot too. Of her love of nature. Walking in the woods with her when I was a child. I have this memory of her one time poking a bunch of ferns in her straw hat to keep the bugs away. I remember her stopping to take pictures of flowers and for the life of me I could NOT understand why she would want a picture of flowers or anything else in nature for that matter. But now I understand her. Here is just one of the many 'nature pictures' I took of my own this weekend. And there in the midst of nature, 600 miles too many away from my mom, I felt closer to her. And I felt my own lips curl up into a smile at that realization.