Thursday, September 4, 2008

An Impromptu Trip to the River

Last week, I had a day where I was desperate to get out of the house.  I wanted to be doing something, anything other than folding laundry and picking up toys.  So while two-year old Logan was emptying the contents of his sippy cup again, I asked him if he wanted to go play in the water.  I meant the pool, of course, and he quickly scrambled into his car seat.  As we passed the entrance to the Eno River State Park, Logan started pointing and saying �Wav-ver, Mom-mee.  Right there.  Go Wav-ver!�  Logan had his own idea for our outing.

�You want to go to river?� I asked.  I was surprised he remembered how to get there and that he had a word for it.  I turned the car around and to the river we went instead.   Once there, I knew that Logan had the better plan.

The Eno is considered to be a �slow� river as it passes over some fairly flat land.  It meanders more than it rages, making it the perfect place to find some quiet - unless, of course, you are visiting with a toddler.  For Logan, there was too much to discover to be quiet as we spent the next couple of hours feasting on nature with all of our senses.   

I watched Logan methodically tossing rock after rock into the water.  Splash.  Kirplop.  He squatted in the water trying to catch small fish. He groped around on the dried area of the riverbed, unsuccessfully grasping at tiny toads as they hopped out of reach � his chubby little fist closing just a little too late.  Without hesitation, we wandered into the water, giggling as the water trickled over his feet.

I stood next to him, feeling the water running over my own shoes and wishing I had the camera.  I wanted to document the dappled light dancing on the blue-green moss.  I wanted to catch the sunlight highlighting each movement of the water.  I wished for a way to record the music of the water lazily trickling over the rocks.  I wondered how I could save the scents of the dirt, the mossy rocks and the decomposing plants in the water.  Instead, I could only savor the moment right then � making time stop and freezing it forever even if only in my mind.  I took a breath.  I took it all in, letting it feed my soul.

I am always pleasantly surprised to come to the river and find myself feeling this way � at peace.  To find myself simply being in the moment with my son rather than worrying about all those daily life distractions was a much-needed gift.  It was a gift given by a perfect summer day and the toddler who knew a better way to enjoy it.


"An Impromptu Trip to the River" is an original post for Triangle Mamas.  When Susie is not enjoying the river with her three sons, she keeps a personal blog titled At Home With Me.

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