The photos I take have a funny way of polishing reality to a glossy perfection. A sheen so bright, it's blinding at times. They serve as my selective memory of events. The what I want to believe happened versus what really did.
Take this weekend's outing, for example. It wouldn't be a usual trek through the woods. No -- it would be Ada's very first hike. One for the memory books.
The weather was gorgeous. 60+ degrees. No clouds. Little wind. Birds chirping. Ada was calm, cool, collected, and nearing nap-time.
From the start, the trail conditions were far from ideal. We had some snow and rain earlier in the week that made everything muddy and slick. We don't mind getting dirty . . . but the muck slowed our pace, making it difficult for Ada to succumb to her exhaustion.
We continued on to the pond -- sticking to the trail's edges to stay dry.
Still looks like a nice time, right?
What you don't realize is that we're maybe a half-mile into what we had planned to be a 2 mile out-and-back. Ada had been screaming since a quarter mile in. And the mud was ever-thickening, making it difficult to keep our balance going down some of the steeper declines.
We knew going forward that things would only get worse. So, I ripped her out of the Beco and we headed to the road so we could get back to our car ASAP (we anticipated something might happen, so we chose a trail that is close to civilization).
We crossed paths with other hikers who had heard her
We even stopped to sit on a bench along the way and breathe in the fresh air before strapping Ada into her car seat for the (thankfully) short drive home.
Over time, I'm sure the memory of her cries will fade. We'll choose instead to hold onto the images I snapped of her placid expression. Of the five (or so) good minutes we enjoyed outdoors for the first time together in near-spring.
I'm OK with a few white lies, especially if I'm only telling them to myself AND they make me feel like I'm an awesome parent.
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