Friday, August 8, 2008

Mountain joy

Jack went to sleep late then got up early 2 nights in a row. Yesterday we spent the morning at the farmers market and playground, then came home for lunch and quiet time. Jack got whiny and I knew he was tired, so I let him crash in his room (he fell asleep on the floor). But he only slept for 45 minutes and woke up in a state. This happens from time to time and I never know what to make of it -- he cries and cries and nothing seems right. I held him and tried to get him to stop crying long enough to tell me what was wrong so we could fix it. But maybe the world was wrong, because nothing helped.

I called Hans to ask for advice and he suggested taking Jack for a drive or watching a video. I got Jack dressed, strapped him into the car, and drove up to the top of "our" mountain. It was foggy yesterday, and little rivulets of water drained down the fire road. As soon as his feet hit the muddy trail, he calmed down. Swinging the blackberry bucket and carrying a small wooden giraffe, Jack hiked up to the top of the hill with me, where we spent quite a while picking blackberries. He is really a very good berry picker -- sees the best ones and goes for them, regardless of the thorns.

When we had picked all the ripe berries on those hilltop bushes we wound our way downhill past Hummingbird Point, trekked across the grassland where a hawk watched our progress from a dead tree, and squeezed through the native treasures segment of the trail. Jack tried his first huckleberry. Ghostly white snowberries dangled from their branches like tiny full moons. We trudged back into the forest to the fire road and back to car, all the while debating the fruit preferences of his favorite animals (Jack thinks coyotes love strawberries the best). He hiked the entire way, and never once asked me to carry him.

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