Today was such a special day - for the first time, ever, I took my boys to Rattle Snake Point. This beautiful spot on the Niagara Escarpment is one of my favorite places to hike. I have such wonderful memories of coming here with Jim before we were married - exploring the forest, or just relaxing and enjoying the view. William, Charlie and I often go hiking together, but this spot just seemed too dangerous for my little rock climbers, given how high the escarpment is, how steeply it falls away, and how close the trail runs to the edge. We had a very serious talk before we got out of the car about this being one forest where the boys needed to stay within sight (as opposed to the usual within hearing range) and that I was expecting absolute obedience - no second chances. I had prepared myself that I did in fact need to be willing to leave if they couldn't listen, but they both did great and we had a wonderful time. They both seemed to feel right away how important this place is to me (and now to them!) and also how it needed to be respected.
To make the day even more special, the boys each found a sacred place of their own here - William found a small stream trickling out of the rocks at the bottom of the cliff, and Charlie found a just-challenging-enough rock slide that felt perfect for him. Right away these places have become their own.
I can't even begin to tell you how happy I am to be able to come here again. I am for the most part accepting of all of the sacrifices that Motherhood requires. Still, to be able to spend time here again, and now to be able to share it with the two most important people in my life, is really a blessing.