It was Mother’s Day weekend 2006 and, as usual, we were broke. Three kids tend to need things that take whatever small amount of savings you were hoping to keep. It’s the name of the job, really.
After much budget finagling, The Husband was able to score a cabin in the north GA Mountains at a place that was home to a beautiful waterfall. I had never been to the mountains, never seen a waterfall up close and personal, and never stayed in a bona-fide cabin. The cabin came with no television, no radio, no entertainment but the nature of the land and the family who accompanied the trip. The Eldest, 8 years old at the time, was none too pleased to go a weekend without his trusty SpongeBob fix. After a plethora of reassurance that he would love it by the time we left, he sucked the pouty lip back in and decided to give it a try (what other choice did he have, really?)
We took to the paved trails and read signs about the nature before us. We read how the paved trails were made of recycled tires. We read all about the trees of the area. Finally, we reach the bridge to admire the remarkable waterfall. The bridge was about half way up this little section of mountain and the view was quite nice. Naturally, I wanted a picture with my three little bundles to cherish our time together for years to come. The Eldest went bouncing down the bridge while, sturdy as it was, my feet were a little less enthusiastic to frolic. He ran down and back a few times before remembering his siblings and took to help me coax them onto the bridge for the picture. The Middle took her precious time testing each board like Indiana Jones would though her bridge had no missing or rotted boards. She made it nearly half way before she would go no farther without a trusting hand. The Little, however, would have no part of this little venture. He was fine just where he stood, thank you very much.
No amount of bubblegum or candy promises made him budge. He was pretty firm for a 3 year old. Just when The Husband and I were about to give up on the picture and just take snapshots of what we could, The Middle lent her helping hand. It took only a few words of encouragement and an outstretched little hand to persuade him and, just as she had done, he tested each board until he was just next to the falls. Soon he let her hand drop and turned with pure joy as he made it to the middle of the bridge. That day not only did The Little and The Middle find trust in each other that would never really die, even now 8 years later, but The Little found the courage he would embrace everyday moving forward.