A hike. Yep, a hike. A hike made me cry. Tears of joy. Tears of accomplishment. Tears of relief.
Last week (when Finn was a mere 5 weeks old), I decided to head our for my first hike with both boys and no Conor. I was meeting up with friends, so although it still seemed a bit daunting, I knew that I was ready! The hike was to Bloods Lake which is 2 miles out & back. I did the hike with Liam last summer, and he barely needed my help then so I knew that this was something he could handle. Since I wear Finn, it's not easy for me to carry Liam as well. But he has proven himself to be quite the little hiker. Each new day that we go into the mountains, I am more & more impressed with his abilities. The drive out to towards the lake is a lengthy one, and since toddlers are all on their own schedules, my friends & I were all going to be arriving at different times. I was feeling particularly brave that day and decided to head out on the hike by myself. I snuggled Finn into my ring sling, threw on a backpack with all the necessities (a decently heavy pack), and grabbed hold of Liam's hand. As we started our hike I was feeling pretty darn proud of myself! Here I was with my brand new baby, young toddler, & we were hiking all by ourselves. Yay me! I may have been a bit cocky...
We made it to the lake easily & quickly, but our friends were no where to be seen. Eventually I noticed them on the other side of the lake and decided to simply hike around to them. I had heard you could hike around the whole lake (but had not previously done so), so I figured it was no big deal. I was surprised to find a decent amount of snowpack on the far side of the lake, but it was only spotty at first; therefore, I assumed we could just walk around the patches. As we walked further into some deep woods, the trees got thicker, the slope steeper, & the snow deeper. Panic was slowly starting to settle in. I was in way over my head! Turning around seemed impossible, so I kept trudging forward staying as calm as possible, knowing I would catch up to friends soon.
The snow was up to my knees at times, so this was obviously an issue for Liam. By some crazy miracle, Liam happily hiked along & Finn kept sleeping. Liam never complained & never seemed to worry or be scared. He learned to grab onto trees to help pull himself out of the snow as well as balance himself. My forearms were burning as I held his other hand. There was no longer a trail to follow, and we were high above the lake. I finally made it within shouting distance to my friends. They told me the terrain was awful and to turn around, but that thought made my want to cry. I was fairly certain that I was far more than halfway through this sketchy part, so I wanted to continue and simply be done as soon as I possibly could. It was quite a scary moment not knowing how I was going to safely get us off this steep hill! Both of our legs were scratched up & our feet were soaking wet & cold with snow. I could not let me mind wander to all the dangers that could come upon us. Luckily, one of my friends brought their mother along, so she was able to hike up to us and help Liam down so that I could ever so carefully take care of myself & Finn!
When we finally made it to level, dry ground I burst into tears. I could finally let my emotions run wild. I had held it together for over an hour, but now I could look back at what we just conquered & weep! It was a confidence builder to say the least. Four years ago, I never would have believed that I would be where I am right now. As a mother, and as a woman. Never would I have thought that 5 weeks after having my second baby, I would be taking two young boys on an intense hike through the mountains, practically solo. It was an incredible feeling of accomplishment. I could not have been more proud of Liam. Beaming with pride at that one!