Where the hell is Tom Sawyer’s Mother? I mean, really! He is gone for days, building home made rafts to travel great distances on a dangerous river! She would get arrested for this kind of thing these days!
Which makes me sad. Sad that we are worried about someone taking our kids all the time. Sad that we have become so safe that we don’t explore and have adventures anymore.
So I go with Sparkles, Buttercup, our neighbor and her daughter to Shoal Creek. The girls get to lead the way and take the path that calls to them. They play in the dirt and throw rocks in the creek. They take off their socks and shoes and wade in the cool water, sometimes on the green rocks that might be slippery, not always completely safe from loosing their balance. They are so sweet with each other, holding hands, helping each other up big rocks and giving hugs if someone falls.
I love Shoal Creek because there isn’t a pre-defined boundary and the equipment isn’t age-approved. There aren’t planned activities or arts and crafts materials ready for assembly. It is just water, rocks, sticks, dirt, leaves, trees and the breeze. The girls explore and learn about physics and nature and playing it safe and daring to try. It feels real and human and sweet to spend the afternoon at Shoal Creek like Tom Sawyer, well, sort of.
Find more information about Shoal Creek on Austin Kids Hike, this story is from Trail Head #4.