We went back to Child's Park this year. Yes, it does seem to be a lot of hiking with waterfalls, now that I blog about it, but it was so beautiful and so fun!
This park has a series of waterfalls with trails of varying difficulty running around and across them.
The kids had a great time clambering over rocks beside the roaring water!
Leena wanted to have her picture taken like this. She's surfing on a rock, if that's not clear.
Here's a rare picture of all of us, thanks Mom!
When we had hiked to the bottom of the last big cataract, we came to a wide shallow run of smooth water. Most of the kids poked around looking for frogs. Choclo and Oob enjoyed their favorite NJ activity: throwing rocks into water.
Leena noticed that if you put a bigger rock in the water, you got a little waterfall going over it.
This led to a small pile of rocks as the project attracted more and more Zoomlians. Eventually, they constructed a small wall sturdy enough to walk 1/3 of the way across the water. There's a metaphor for the way I homeschool in there, I'm sure!
Aside from throwing rocks in the water (did I mention my parents live on a lake? And have a gravel driveway?), Choclo's favorite thing has become checking the fluid levels in Blue Streak. Mostly he enjoys looking at the engine and naming all the parts I know. we spent the better part of an hour walking around the big van, naming all the parts (with me looking through the manual!). Brings a new meaning to Carschooling!
It was really hard to leave this time. We had such a wonderful time. We lingered as long as we could. We looked through a lot of slides and pictures. We told a lot of family jokes and stories. We enjoyed each other immensely. And yet, I can see my parents getting ready, and getting us ready, to say goodbye. There was a taste of "the last time" in this visit. I don't think anyone is ever ready for that, really, but I know it is helping me. Seeing them pouring themselves out to help others and to show us how much we are loved, was a beautiful, if bittersweet, gift.
I have so much to be grateful for in my parents. It really has made me think about what I have been given and what I want to give my kids and my spouse. I'm hoping to blog about that in the future, but it's still too close right now.