Being Brave at Perdenales State Park

I feel like our mini-van is very, very safe. (Well, forget the accident from last week.) What I mean is, for the short periods of time when the little girls are in the van, when they are buckled into their car seats, they are, for the most part, unable to hurt them selves. No on can fall, get hit or put something in their mouth that shouldn’t be in there. It is very contained and predictable.

On some days, I’m tempted to drive around all day, just to keep it simple. I might do that, if they didn’t have the option of crying their heads off. That keeps this from being the perfect plan. (That and sometimes you get in an accident.)

But, on most days, that isn’t what I want, I want them to explore and be brave. A day trip to Pedernales State Park was perfect for that. There were huge boulders, a river with rapids and dark caves.

It made me nervous some.

Blue Eyes or I had to stay right with Buttercup who has yet to develop any caution at all around water. Noel sped ahead with Sparkles and I couldn’t see them and it seemed that they must have done some technical rock climbing to get that far ahead.

But you should have seen Sparkles face when she and Noel came out of the cave they just explored. She looked like she was a grown woman who had just climbed a real mountain. She had been scared, but she had also been brave and I was so proud of her.

It got a little messy in the end. The little girls didn’t like the sandwiches I packed and they also didn’t like the mostly-chocolate trail mix, which seemed pretty unreasonable. Then Noel had to go to the bathroom right away and she didn’t want to go in the woods. And Sparkles didn’t want to leave the trail, so she was crying, then she fell and hurt her knee, so she was cried even more. Blue Eyes and I were worn out from holding Buttercup, who would cry if we tried to put her down. Noel wanted to move fast. The little girls were moving very, very slow. It wasn’t the perfect family outdoor experience like in the movies, unless it is a Chevy Chase movie.

But we made it back to the car and overall it was a good day. We were all a little brave, in our own way. I can’t wait to go again.