Ah, blue skies, nothing but blue skies…
Well, all except those over the mountains looming larger than life. But the rest of the sky is looking great. What a day for adventure and catching up. AEB is ready to go, go, go. It will take some time for Heath to get over from Whitefish so we have some time to burn up before we actually will get to hit the trails. We’ll go over to the trading post, that catch all shop on the main street that sells the typical tourist fare, hiking bits and bobs, a few food items, bear spray, etc. where we’ll pick up the rental car for our stay. Heath had suggested a convertible for optimal viewing, but they don’t carry them due to the extreme weather and lack of seasonal vehicles. Makes sense. With the car picked up, our girl and I went out on that great expanse of lawn to wait, run around and stay occupied whilst waiting. Waiting with a six year old without a plan is never a good idea. And AEB is no exception. Give her an occupation and you have a happy everyone. Have a lack of something to be busy with and all sorts of mayhem will ensue. I love her dearly, but when I’m not fully prepared for even down time that mischievous side comes out. To give her credit she doesn’t set out to be naughty, or cause double, it’s just that if there’s nothing to do in particular her imagination gets the better of her and patience runs thin on all sides. Part of it is exhaustion. Part is her stubborn side. Part the inability to fully think through an action to its full conclusion, which makes life exciting and terrifying for her mum. So, running around, playing “catch me if you can” spent off some energy, time went by quickly and pretty soon I was doing something I could not have done years ago as a teacher – giving Heath a great big heartfelt hug! As a teacher, I understand that there needs to be a line drawn between students and teachers – a very definite, think line, but there are times when a student just needs a hug and a teacher needs to be able to extend that need, but in this day and time such actions get misconstrued. Yes, there are teachers who over step and abuse and distort their role in very ugly ways. But there are others that are mentors and care-givers in ways that go beyond mere teaching that are much like parenting. But today, was not a student/teacher day. Today was meeting and shifting of a relationship that was ready to make a positive shift to friendship.
Heath had mentioned going to Hidden Lake, but we decided that a less rigorous hike would be best for our girl. AEB was just about crushed when she was told we’d decided to opt for a different hike. I think the idea of hiking to a “hidden” lake had captured her imagination – mine, too. But we went over to Many Glacier where there is a nice hike to Redrock Lake where there is a water fall. It was powerful with the snow melt like it was/is at present. AEB climbed the rocks close to the falls with me trying to look and sound calm whilst ever ready to dive in after her should she slip into the falls. Heath kept an eye on her as well, but it was nice for our girl to have a sense of doing on her own, feeling secure and respected as a person and not just a kid to be treated like an inferior. I appreciated Heath’s attention to her and helping her with learning to look before leaping. Not that this is a fully learned lesson, but sometimes it takes a person other than a parent for some lessons to be learned. And I’m sure that her climbing days are far from over now that she seems to have a new respect for where to put her foot. AEB was well looked out for by us all, but it’s always good to expose her to other adults that treat her like a human being with ideas and thoughts that are worth listening to and understanding. I know that a lot of this has to do with Heath just being who he is, but it also has to do with his appreciation for Waldorf education, which is one great way to educate children. It was a long day’s hike for our girl but she was a trouper and loved every minute of it, especially the ending with a toe dip and dam building moment on the way back. Mr. and Mrs. Beaver of Narnia would be proud of her efforts. It’s good to get dirty! How ever would a person know s/he’d had fun if not by the amount of dirt covering said person?
We got back to the lodge in time for dinner and then mum was nice enough to give me the rest of the evening to catch up with Heath.
The lodge has a great front porch with willow rocking chairs that you sink into. They rock forward better than they rock back, so if you go, beware of this little tid bit. There was a lot to cover in a few hours, I dare say the conversation will continue over the years. But I think we managed to cover the basics of “how did you end up here” for both of us. Life is a journey and having supportive people is key to getting on with the journey. It’s hard to continue when you think your parents can’t support you and are still waiting for you to figure out what you want to be when you grow up – and I’m not talking specifically about Heath. The conversation was two sided and life has sent us both on interesting paths with jolts and bumps along the way. But you are where you are at any given moment and what you choose to do in that moment is important for the days that follow.
As with all great company, and conversation, the time ended far too quickly and Heath and I parted. It was nice to head back to my room knowing that Heath was doing for himself what he needs to be doing at this point and that I will get to be part of that in a very special way – as a friend. A very satisfying end to a full day at GNP.