It has been a long time since we have gotten out with the kids and not just because I injured myself last summer. Scheduling is hard when everyone has busy lives and that includes the climbing team for one of the 11 year olds! It’s easier when children are young and dependent on their parents for their itinerary but as they grow, so does the task of juggling everyone’s wants and needs.
It had taken us a little while to get out the door (where did you put all three pairs of gloves???) and our walk today in the snow was brief (1.5 hours) because that same 11 year old was not feeling well and he ended up turning back with his dad just a few quick minutes into our trek to wait in the car. Such is the life of a parent…
The rest of the kids and I (well, not really all kids, the oldest is 21) continued a short distance (about 1.3 miles) to a lake that sits nestled in a bowl below a ridge that feeds into the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River in the area of the Alpental Ski Resort at Snoqualmie Pass in Washington State. Our goal today was only to get out and since it was going to be a rare time we could all be together, we didn’t let the grey, wet skies deter us.
It was nice catching up with the girls and talking about our outdoor plans for the year. We agreed it would be nice to get everyone out on a hike, maybe even Mt. St Helens again, if the boys feel up to the task. As we enjoyed our time together, it wasn’t lost on me that just over a year ago we had a similar snowshoe trip that ended with most of us not sure we could even spend time all together because of the clashing of relationship expectations and changing of roles. We haven’t been out on very many excursions with everyone since that day and it no overstatement to say I carry each one’s importance clutched tightly in my heart.
It’s been a little more than two years since I met their dad and we have come a long way to get to this point (and not just where we were on the trail this day). I don’t talk about it much here on Must Hike Must Eat (I have another blog for that), but the road has not been smooth when it comes to creating a new family from two. In fact, it’s been nothing short of miraculous. Who knew step-parenting (or even the close proximity of it) would be so challenging? It may end up being the hardest things I ever do.
Moving forward into the new year means more than dates on the calendar, it means a new life for all of us. We don’t know what is up ahead on this journey, but I’ll be just fine taking it one short trip at a time.
Editor’s Note: This was my first snowshoe this season after taking it up just 2 years ago and I was super happy to finally break in my new snowshoes. I only fell once in the soft powder when I went off trail to “use the facilities” and my shoulder did okay, but I’m icing tonight just in case. I hope this is the beginning of more time out in the snow!