Are We Not Men? - Mistletoe Hike

"Are we not men?" / "We are Devo"! This is the call and response that my sons and I were singing as we hiked through Mistletoe State Park. Being a Devo fan, I couldn't help but happily join in the song. Hiking Mistletoe was quite the adventure! As usual, we were laughing, clowning around, and singing during the trail. Things were really looking up, and I was proud of how well we were doing with the hike, and finding our way around. Later that afternoon, we got lost. *gasp* Yes, I panicked, and needed a good slap to get a grip on reality. We lost our bearings as we were sidetracked by a lake. (no photo) Got off of the path to look at it, thinking we would have no problem going directly back from where we came. Not!

As we walked and walked, trying to find the path marks.....none were to be found. Since it was getting to be late in the afternoon, I decided to call my parents to make sure that there was "someone out there" who knew where we were. Couldn't get a signal, nor were we able to use the Iphone compass. I spotted a gentleman from afar fishing on the lake and decided to yell out, "Hellooooo.......helloooooo. Please help us. We're lost." Arms flapping and waving wildly in the wind. He didn't say a word. Simply looked at me as if to say, "That is one crazy Chick", turned around and continued fishing. Thankfully, my boys remained calm through all of this. Me......I moved to a quick, wild pace, thinking...Oh, my God, I've got to find the me Jehovah. *heart beating out of chest from fear* I'm out here with my sons, it may get dark. We have no flashlights, little food/water, and during the night we may have freezing weather. I stopped the brisk walk and sat on the ground realizing that I needed to calm down and think. My oldest son looked at me reassuringly and said, "Mom......everything is going to be alright. Getting lost is part of the adventure." At that time, I wasn't feeling his words. All that I could think about was that this was all my fault.

On a side note, I think about the calm and assurance of each of my sons and realize, the chant they were singing for fun, "Are We Not Men?", was also a reality. No matter how old they get, I still look at them as "my precious babies", but in all honesty, they are indeed men. Though, I understand the need to be actively involved as their mom and guardian, I am reminded that in a "healthy" sense of the word, I need to step aside a bit, allow them to be men.....and allow God to continue in their training through His Word. He is the most awesome parent of all.

We continued walking, and fortunately, we were able to get a signal. Josiah could now use the compass on his Iphone and compare it to the location on the map. We were also able to contact my parents to let them know our correct location. (I had accidentally told them that we would be hiking at Magnolia instead of Mistletoe) Next, we contacted a ranger to be on the lookout for our return. We finally found one of the trail markings and was excited! Though we had a long distance to get back, we were confident, and Josiah successfully led us back to our destination. We went to the office and alerted them that we found our way back.

I guess, in witnessing firsthand my phobia -a side my sons had never fully seen in me- Josiah said, "You can relax if you would like mom, and I can drive us home." I certainly didn't argue, and willfully handed him the keys.

I learned a lot that day. I underestimated this hike on the basis of it being a day hike. Even when simply day hiking, hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Actually....never assume that it will only be a day hike. The unexpected -like getting lost- can happen. For me personally, the first thing that I will do from now on, is to make sure that as a family, we study information/a map about our planned route to get a good idea about the hike (sections that are easy, moderate, or strenuous), and to also have an idea of the expected return time. I will be sure that each of us have first aid kits, flashlights, plenty of water, etc. I'm sure my boys will no longer laugh at me when I say we should pack biodegradable toilet paper. *giggles* I will also be sure to read more hiking 101 books from our local library.

Through it all, I thoroughly enjoyed the day with my sons, and I look forward to our future hikes. We will be more knowledgeable and well prepared.


Arlene said…
That must have been very frightening. So glad you were able to find your way back and that the experience was ultimately a good one. I'm sure your sons were great to hike with and a big help in getting everyone home safely.
Teen Queen said…
Fantastic! You must be so proud of you handsome young men. TFS