The other day Liam asked if we always do fun stuff on Mondays and Wednesdays because those are the days Finn is at school. "And you know," he said. "Sometimes Finn can be a little...difficult."
"Hmmm," I said. "I guess maybe. But I don't really think about it that much. It could just be because those are the days other people are free to do fun things. I think I say yes to plans more than I make them, you know?"
"I think that must be it," I said. "Because Finn's really not like that anymore. He's kind of a big kid now. Right? "
Later that day a friend asked if we wanted to go hike and play in the creek at Beaman Park. On Tuesday. When Liam would be at school. I might normally say no - because trying to take Finn somewhere without Liam is kind of a crapshoot - but I felt like I needed to put my money where my mouth was. (Was that two gambling expressions in one sentence?! I guess you can take the girl out of Reno but you can't take the Reno out of the girl...)
So we said yes.
The last time we went to Beaman together, Finn wanted me to carry him all the way back to the car after we played in the creek (it was about a mile uphill) and when I said I couldn't because I was carrying a backpack, he screamed at me at the top of his lungs the ENTIRE WALK BACK.
I think I've been avoiding it ever since.
This time we'd be going with a group of kids we hang out with a lot but always with Liam and Finn or just Liam but never with Finn on his own. I had no idea how he'd get along without his wing man. Would he sit on my lap the whole time? Whine and want to go home? Scream at the top of his lungs?
He started out a little hesitant, which is perfectly normal. But after not much time at all, he was in the creek with the rest of the kids, trying out his new rain boots.
After a little while, the kids asked if they could go up creek a bit to explore. Finn wanted to go, too. We said yes and I watched as he wadded off in his little boots, finding the way on his own, with his friends.
When it had been a while since we could see or hear the kids, we walked up the creek to see what they were doing. It was not an easy hike! The water was really rushing in some spots and the whole thing was pretty slippery. When we found the kids, I almost couldn't tell if Finn was with them or not. I kept looking for my little guy - someone much smaller than Finn actually is - but soon I realized he was right there all along. It turns out he really is one of the big kids!
As you can tell, we were not exactly prepared for a creek hike. His outfit had to keep evolving as the day went on, as he slipped in the creek or got cold, and by the time we were on our way home, he was full naked.
As we drove home and he asked question after question ("How did the Earth get made? How did the very first person happen?") I felt so enamored with my little big kid. And so happy that this fun day happened to be on his day home.