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Saturday, August 9, 2008

Night Walkers

Little known fact about me - I love to be out at night with out a flashlight. Walks in the dark, or being in the woods when camping - as long as it's dark, and nature-y, I'm all over it.

This probably originated from my childhood. We had acreage and cows, and occasionally nighttime hunts for an animal were necessary. The ones that made the biggest impression happened when I was about eight or nine. This makes Laura 10-11, and Annie 6-7.

Missing cows usually ended up in a two-acre stand of large trees (i.e. woods) in our lower field. It was always the same - Dad and Annie would go one way, Laura and I would go the other in the pitch black forest of darkness. We would be totally terrified. Eventually, however, we'd calm down and start having fun with our adventure.

Running around on prank errands at girls' camp, and huge nighttime games of capture the flag cured me of the need for a flashlight. By the time I reached adulthood I was a veteran night walker. (That doesn't sound quite right, does it...) Until walking home tonight with Liam and Niall, I'd completely forgotten what could be so scary about a walk in the dark.

The boys were horrified that we were actually heading into the night with no flashlight. In their defense, it was a dark, moonless, foggy night with that dense blackness hanging in the shadows...but off we went. They were clinging so tightly to my arms I could hardly walk. They were scared of coyotes, stray dogs, large (as in giant) snakes, and every single sound they heard. No one wanted to get behind or in front of the group - especially after I told them that "things" always get the loner. Aren't I a mean mom?

Eventually they relaxed a little, and Liam admitted it wasn't "that scary". When we got close enough they even ventured out of the herd to sprint home - until they got too far ahead of me, then they sprinted back.

Overall, I figure we can chalk this up as our first night-walk together. Who knows? Maybe we can make it a tradition, and it will be something my children will always remember doing with their fearless mother. That really is the great thing about kids - they know what you know, and you can almost always pass on the things that are most important to you. To my boys, thank you for helping me remember what it's like to be a little person with a huge imagination, and here's to the future of a new Baxter tradition.

4 comments:

Natalie said...

Oh! I just realized how cool it is that you guys are able to "night walk" living where you live. Sounds fun!

by AnnieValentine said...

My favorite night walks are in the snow. Mom and Dad always went out for walks on snowy nights, the three we had growing up.

ckw said...

Thanks for coming to my blog to say hi. It's nice to "meet" you! I love your background colors. I don't know why I stick with such boring colors on mine.

Laura said...

I miss being out at night. I still remember warm summer nights walking through the field, and feeling the temperature drop as we walked through a dip into a patch of fog. We did a lot of singing while we walked at night, at least when we got older. I was telling Kenyan about it when we visited Koni a few weeks ago and we had to go find the kids bikes out behind the barn in the dark. Inhale that sweet smell of fresh cut hay on a cool evening breeze. It's part of who I am!