Yesterday I told the boys we’d be going hiking today after church. We weren’t positive the location, but before we left this morning we put our changes of clothes, shoes, hats and gloves in the car.
After we were done at church, we got in the car and decided on heading up to Multnomah Falls. I love driving up the gorge any time of year, and seeing the ice that forms around the falls during winter is pretty amazing.
I enjoy getting just far enough out of town that my usual radio stations start to get fuzzy, and I have to search for new ones. But not too far out, that I couldn’t reach someone if I blew a tire or had car trouble.
The wind was blowing pretty good on the way up there. I checked the outside temp, glad that I thought to throw in hats and gloves.
We passed a waterfall that was being redirected by the wind. The water blowing left and then right, droplets freezing in midair, the trail of water never reaching the ground.
As soon as we got out of the car at Multnomah Falls, we felt the wind whipping. We left our jeans from church on, rather than change, figuring they were the best protection we had against the wind.
As we approached the base area at the falls, we noticed that no one was on the bridge. And slowly came to the realization that the trail was closed. I’m not so sure the boys were all that disappointed, but I was.
We soaked in the falls for a few minutes, and then returned to the car to drive further up the gorge for lunch. As we sat overlooking the river, we talked. I asked them what the other’s strongest strength was. We talked about Karch’s athleticism, his soft heart and persistence. We talked about Gunner’s creativity, his thankfulness, and intelligence. When it got to me, they said it was my patience, imaginition(for my crafts), and my faith that were strongest.
We talked about this morning’s sermon. About the new church we tried. About an upcoming trip. And about the fact that I was still determined to find a place to hike on the way home. They weren’t all that overjoyed by the last one;)
They ate warm marionberry pie and ice cream, and raved about how good it was before we left.
As we stood up to go, I noticed Gunner glanced over his shoulder at the girls who’d recently sat down behind us. I had noticed the girls earlier, only because every other word coming from behind me was a curse word. I asked him why he’d looked. He said he was curious what they looked like. I asked him if he was bothered by how they talked.
He said, “Cursing doesn’t really bother me, it just impedes the message they’re trying to get across.”
As we walked to the car, I smiled at the young men I get to raise. And thought, impedes? Who says that?!
As we drove back, I took the Bonneville exit, with one last hope for a hike. However we found the parking lot full, and the hikers we saw told us the trail was icy and they’d turned back.
We’re home now. Back to our cozy spaces. Clear reception. Chores to be done. Internet to be had. Week ahead to conquer.
And I can’t stop thinking about Gunner’s comment. About how things impede the message we are trying to get across.
I realize that my day-to-day my life impedes my message. The ‘laundry doing, knock that offing, dinner making, floor cleaning, garbage outing, homework done asking, don’t talk to your brother like thating, meeting making, picker upping, teaching, grading, grocery shopping, I need sleeping’ me sometimes gets so task oriented and kinda good at it, that my true message gets lost.
Like the waterfall blown left and right, redirected by the wind, droplets freezing before they hit earth. My message gets impeded. Not by the weather. But by my tasks.
I mistakingly think the love I communicate by caring for my family should say I love you. I mean, I say I love you a lot. But “I love you” words love is different than “what did you think, why did you do that, did it bother you, you’re so good at that” words love.
And so for me, I have to get out of town.
I didn’t get my hike.
But I got what I was really after. A few moments where my boys know I’m all theirs. Where I get to kiss the tops of their heads (without them cringing). Or hear their thoughts. Their real thoughts.
Where the usual stations; on the radio, of routine, and of distractions become fuzzy. And we have to search for new ones.
We didn’t get a hike.
But we did get out of dodge.
Away from the things that impede the message I want to get across. The relationships I want to have. The love I want these boys to know.
It’s not that I think they don’t know that here. In our home.
I just think like my radio stations, we hear love more clearly, when everything else we focus on day-to-day starts becomes fuzzy.
I don’t know if we speak differently when things get fuzzy. Or if we listen more closely. I just know as parents this is what we’re all trying to do in our own ways. Get our message across. Our love across. And His love across. To our children. Unimpeded.
To get our message across.
Our love across.
And His love across.