Saturday, December 14, 2013

Snow Canyon Hike

{In Snow Canyon state park, October 2013}

We took a St. George trip a couple months ago so my mom could watch Kate while Jay and I saw a play at the Shakespearean Festival (Peter and the Starcatcher, and it was pretty good after the first 20 minutes). We got a couple other outings in and spent some time with my brother Steve who was down on college break. My dad was in Dallas for most of the weekend, so we didn't see much of him this trip.

We went on a hike to Johnson's Arch in Snow Canyon. The vast sky was vivid blue, the red of the towering cliffs was offset by ancient black lava flows, and the spaces between scrub oak and sage brush were carpeted with flowering yellow grasses like a two-seasons-too-late desert spring.

{Johnson's Arch}

My mom had to wear a large boot due to a stress fracture in her foot, but she gamely stumped along with us and introduced Kate to the wonders of sand while Jay and I finished the last bit of the hike ourselves. 

Kate does love me, I know this to be true, but she mourns my absence more keenly than she appreciates my presence. For Kate, a perfect mother is one who is always silent but close, content enough to be near her that offense is not taken when Kate's affections are lavishly bestowed on every other person in the general vicinity. 

This is evidenced in many situations: In church, Kate sits with her dad (or her grandparents, aunts, or uncles). Not with her mom. Friendly advances from Mom are met with yelling and hand-waving. But if ever I get up to use the restroom or sit on the stand, she panics: "Mama! Mama! Mama!" she cries loudly, often accompanied by noisy tears. Jay wrestles her out of the chapel, her arms outstretched and aimed at the last place she saw me. 

{The soundtrack for these two pictures is "Dada! Dada! Dada!" Waaaail, squirm squirm squirm... "DADA!"}

We recently had family pictures taken, and Kate would hold hands with her dad and/or the photographer, but not with me. It was unfortunate the photographer was not her mother, because I could have gotten some adorable hand-holding shots of the three of them.

When Jay and I run, sometimes Jay will stop with the stroller to tie his shoe and I'll jog on ahead. Kate worriedly calls after me until Jay catches up again (which only takes about five seconds because I am molasses and he is quicksilver). 

Trying to hold my girl and having her scream and reach for her daddy is admittedly not my favorite thing, but I am glad that I am around enough and she is secure enough in my love for her that she feels she can take me for granted. 

As much as I sometimes long for the green lushness of the Northwest or the Southeast, there is something in these stark, minimalist landscapes, this sharp and hardy vegetation, and these dry, sand-laden breezes that whispers of home.

1 comment:

  1. How timely is this post: I was just talking to someone last night at a Christmas gathering about how pretty southern Utah is. He is from Colorado and has visited different parts of Utah many times. I went over my list of why the southern part of the state is more breathtaking than the northern (in my opinion!). You've captured your hometown so perfectly here.

    I so understand Kate's ways. I was that kid. My first word was "da da," not exactly what my stay-at-home-mom wanted to hear ;) I've found that I've really grown to rely on and appreciate my mother more in my adult years. She is my best friend.

    Love you and love that little Kate!