I went for a hike (and when I say hike, others might consider it a stroll...) behind my house with my son yesterday. He had to pack a backpack full of snacks and water for our excursion. We had to be prepared. When we started, he kept asking for challenges to do and I made up little things, like skipping to the next pole on the path or trying to not step on any of the sunlight that filtered in through the trees.  

We reached the destination I had originally planned on and had our snack. Side note: he had packed an entire box of crackers that only had two crackers left and 1,000 crumbs (next time I should check the snack choices).

"Do you want to go farther?" I ask. "To the very top?"

"No," he emphatically answers.

"What if we we just try a little bit more and then we can turn around if we want?"

"Okay," he agrees.

And we continues into the woods. We noticed the trees and the pinecones and the rocks and the mushrooms. He collected a leaf because it was pink and he told me he had never seen a pink leaf before. We crossed a little bridge and I asked if he thought a troll might be underneath and then realized I had never told him the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff. So I told it to him as we walked up the hill.

"Who's that tromping on my bridge?" I growl.

He started to predict the pattern of the story and joined in as I told it. 

"It's the biggest Billy Goat," He says.

We rounded the bend and he looked at me and says,

"I think this hike is too big for me."

"Buddy, you made it," I say. "We are at the top."

We came around the corner and there was the bench overlooking the forest. At that very moment, he fell, tripping over a tree root.

"It's okay," I assure him. We all fall sometimes when hiking. Tears dried we sit on the bench, eat some cracker crumbs and look at the view. 

"It's beautiful Mama," he tells me. "I want to live up here forever."

"Me too," I say.

And then we headed back down the way we came, which seemed shorter and easier and familiar.

All this to say, sometimes when I am writing I don't want to keep going. I want to stop at the first spot because I worked hard to get that first spot and it's good spot. But if you keep going, you might just get to the top and that beautiful view and the way back will be a piece of cake.  

 At the top.

At the top.