I got a headstart on my daughter's X-Country team so they wouldn't be waiting on me at the end.
For a majority of the run, I go it alone, stomping pavement and gravel.
It is a bit unnerving running through patches of woods, lonely and female.
I find myself planning what to do if I come across a creep.
I remind myself that the elbow is the strongest part of the body. I guess that works if grabbed from behind.
I finish a Rosary that I'd started on the way to Beth's piano lesson.
I feel good for a Monday afternoon and add the campground to my usual path. Breakfast for dinner, (bacon & pancakes) wafts through the "roughing it" atmosphere. Folks are already winding down the summer with closed awnings, locked bikes, and stacked folding chairs. It's a tad melancholy. The kids start back to school next week. The whole lot of them.
Danika begins her senior year. Katie will be an intuitive sophomore.
Beth starts 7th grade. Twas a pivotal year for me. I think it will be for her too.
Orthodontics continue to tighten the tracks of her future smiles.
She gets prettier every day. She is literally leaping for joy in joining the Honors crowd. She'll log miles as a runner for the middle school team growing closer to friends who set pace with her in swinging ponytails.
I'll pack the three lunches (down from six) and send the girls off for their first day.
I'll pack up my cream puff of a mini-van with Paul's belongings to trek on to Greensboro, moving him into a new apartment.
My third son, Mark will caravan behind in his new truck. He chipped in 1/2 on this. He'll be loaded with a kayak, surfboard and the usual freshman dorm stuff.
We'll then venture onto Wilmington to meet Scott at the airport who has been working as a business intern this summer in upstate NY. The three of us will haul everything into Mark's quarters, seven and 1/2 hours from home.
We'll picnic on the beach, my sons and me. We'll make the time last as long as we can. But then it'll be time to return to Hayesville, with one son and fewer days to enjoy his laugh, his music, and his life decisions.
I'm already missing all of them.
Fleeting are their cherubic cheeks, and even their choice in dub step music. Relinquishing is difficult but necessary.
A light rain falls and mirrors puddle on the path that winds through pines and rhododendron foilage.
I feel a rock stuck in the middle of my sneaker and stop to pull it out. It's wedged in tight.
A small reminder that we gather stones. We build up the lives of our children. Then we have to release them. Let them journey down the road that God has planned. Allow them to seek their own traction.
I see the stone in my tread as a penny. I angle a throw and watch it skip, arching over the surface a few times. It takes it's final sink as ripples circle outward letting me know that my influence is not lost.
Rob is grinning at me and we head home to fix BLT sandwiches. Maybe we can kindle one more campfire and roast smores.
What stories do your stones tell this summer?