Mother’s Day Out

Yesterday Jim and I finally got around to talking about Mother’s Day. We’d already sent flowers and cards to our mothers. Now the question was what we’d do to celebrate my day.

“Where do you want to go?” Jim asked.

I shrugged. “I don’t care.”

“Just so it’s a hike?”

“Right.”

All I ever want for Mother’s Day is a hike. No flowers or chocolate for me, no dinner out. Let me open cards from the children over breakfast, and let me hear only muted whining while we lace up our hiking boots and Jim loads a backpack with extra clothes, water, and food. (OK, maybe he sticks some dark chocolate in the food bag…)

Ursula and Virgil know that we go hiking on Mother’s Day. It’s the only way they know to mark the day. When they were babies, we hiked Cardigan, our “home” mountain, a mere seven minutes’ drive from our house. We’ve hiked into Lonesome Lake, stood on Mt. Moosilauke, Mt. Cube, Smarts — all mountains within an hour’s drive, all good hikes with kids. We’ve hiked in swarms of black flies. (How cruel is it to hiking parents in the Northeast that the black-fly season runs from Mother’s Day to Father’s Day?) We’ve hiked in a steady drizzle and in blustery wind. We’ve hiked with other families, and sometimes, when the weather just won’t cooperate, I’ve pulled on rain gear and hiked alone. But my heart doesn’t lift in the same way then. For me, Mother’s Day is a real celebration when we walk a trail together.

I don’t want to stretch too far in trying to understand why spending “my” day in this way is so important to me. I think it’s nothing more complicated than wanting to bring together two parts of my life that fill me with enormous joy and make me feel part of a larger whole. That’s probably enough.

Happy Mother’s Day.

Great Kids, Great Outdoors” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Kristen Laine.

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