On a sunny weekday last month, my husband, son, and I spent the better part of the day at Mystic Aquarium. With kids in school, we had the place mostly to ourselves. If you have small children you understand what a gift it is to arrive to a typically crowded setting during its off-peak hours. No worry of losing anyone, you can focus on enjoying the sights around you….If you can keep up with your child(ren). Our son likes to move quickly, often referring to himself as an “inja”(code for ninja). His desire to run, not walk, everywhere he goes is not surprising. Being born into a family of a mother runner, a father soccer player, and two substantially older sisters, the kid has to keep up. From infancy, he knew that there were few options, and he hates to lose. So, he skipped crawling, and began walking/running at ten months. Each day is a new adventure in parenting an energetic son. I am thankful God blessed me with energy to orchestrate our many endeavours. Sorry, off track…hey, it happens! But, don’t worry, the point of my aquarium story is building.
On the return trip, I asked my patient husband to drop me off at some point along the road, so that I could run home. That’s nOrMaL right??? We approached a nice stopping point, I exited the driver’s seat, and proceeded to breathe in the fresh air mingled with a hint of manure from the local farms as I happily ran home. It was during said run that I received a text from my friend Ashley informing me of an REI contest to win an amazing trip to explore Machu Picchu. However, the deadline for entrance was midnight. Brainstorming as I ran, always a sure-fire source of inspiration thanks to those free-flowing neurotransmitters, I attempted to devise a plan of attack. Arriving home happy(er), sweaty(er), and stinky(er), I searched for a photo and adequate words to express why I was deserving of such an adventure. With help from a photo snapped by Ashley during one of our adventures, I was ready to crank it out. Yet, I must say, 100 words or less is tough! My essay read as follows:
Are those really mating turtles that you see? Well…. yes! One of the many gems I have “discovered” while hiking! Early beginnings: The Georgia forest was a wonderland of green pine and murky creek water, providing hours of local trekking for my brother and I. As I entered middle school, my wise father kept me centered with weekend backpacking excursions on the AT. It was here that I learned the woods hold crucial life lessons. Example, mating turtles: they like people, don’t like interruption. As a wife, mother, and student, I go hiking to find my balance.
As the title of this blog implies, I lost. Bummer, I felt the rendering of one of nature’s finest moments would have sealed the deal for me. Wrong in my assumption, I took the loss like a champ, calling Ashley who confirmed her “loser” status as well. I must mention that we did consider filing letters of complaint for a rematch, but ultimately thought better of it. I hope those lucky bastards that were chosen appreciate that trip! I mean, “I hope those deserving men and women have a splendid journey.” There’s always next year…who knows I may encounter mating Bighorn sheep in the Grand Canyon, that would boost my odds for sure! Until then, I will digest this quote, encouraging you to do the same: “When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.” Thanks my little Buddha Bro!