So, last weekend at this time, the skies were blue and I was nearly at the top of Mt. Baker with my friend, Cari. The last few winding curves on the mountain caused Cari to steer her mini-van into the lane away from the cliff . . . she was afraid we’d simply fall off the edge of the road, never to be seen again. I, on the other hand, was unafraid. Probably because of the snow-plowing in the winter, the roads had no guardrails at all. Cari told me that the roads were normally bounded on each side by high walls of snow–which was clear from the 8-foot bamboo stakes lining the roads.
We arrived at the Chalet at about 4 p.m. and set up our scrapbooking supplies. Outside the window to our backs was Mt. Shuksan. I stood and stared awhile, then got to work. My goal was to affix my pictures from 2003 into a scrapbook by the end of the weekend.
Looking back four years over the course of two days reminded me of how much my kids have grown. My life is so much different now, yet so much the same. Four years ago, I had two 9-year olds (who turned 10 during the course of the year). Right now, I have a 9-year old who will be 10 in a few months. Four years ago, I had a 4-year old who turned 5. Right now, I have a new 5-year old.
Things are different now, though. Back then, I had a baby. Now, I do not. Back then, I had all boys. Now I have a daughter who says things like, “What are you wearing today?” and “Isn’t this shirt cute?” Back then, I weighed over 225. Now I’m 55 pounds lighter. I’d gone back to my natural color back then; now I’m blond again.
When I looked at those pictures, I thought of how quickly children grow up. I wonder if I hugged them enough, if I screamed too often, if my children have any awareness of my devotion to them. I wonder what life will be like when four years have passed. My twins will be 18 then. My 9-year old will be a teenager. My daughter will be 9-years old.
My husband, I have no doubt, will look exactly the same. I married him because he is so consistent, after all.
Anyway, the weekend at Mt. Baker flew by in a haze of sore shoulders, stacks of photographs and walks up the mile-loop to the ski-lodge parking lot. We stayed up until 2 a.m. and I slept until 9 a.m. At the end of forty-eight hours, my scrapbook was complete. We drove an hour and a half down the mountain, then I drove three hours home to my family. I arrived after my daughter was in bed.
Then Monday dawned and my real life started all over again. It’s taken me the whole week to regain some momentum.
What a lovely weekend it was, though, worth the lack of sleep and sluggish re-entry into my family.
Here Cari and I are, hiking trails the last day.