This past weekend we decided a family day trip was in order. Telling the boys a couple of days in advance lead to some parental leverage of good behavior and Oliver asking every five minutes, “Is it WARM, Mama?” and “When it’s warm, we can go to Eyaph-ant Wocks!” And finally, on Sunday, it was warm(ish).
Elephant Rocks State Park is a two-hour drive south of us in Ironton, MO. I have wanted to come here since Andrew took the boys right after I had Emil and came back with these pictures. It’s geographic features include a tor, which is an isolated rocky peak, usually of jointed and weathered granite. Apparently, the huge granite domes formed 1500 million years ago from a dome of molten magma. Eons of weathering produced the rounded boulders that you see (Wikipedia). Of course, I imparted none of this knowledge onto our youth, who were too busy running/climbing away from us in all directions.
There was much exploring and testing and forward motion to the next climbable object.
Doesn’t this look like an arm holding up this boulder?
And though Milo is in the majority of these pictures (because Andrew was holding Oliver’s hand a lot of the time as I struggled to keep up with Milo with the baby strapped to my chest!), Oliver did his own exploring on unsteady feet. And I am thankful that he is not as daring and crazy as Milo. Having two of the same would surely give me a panic attack.
And now that we’re on the subject of panic attacks, here are the inevitable photos of Milo airborne:
Though it’s hard to tell, the above jump was very high up and actually caused some real alarm. Enough for me to put down the camera and be a parent, people.
I’m telling you, it’s amazing that this kid has never caused himself bodily harm from these jumps… but he really actually uses good judgement and knows his limits. We have only had to tell him “no” about jumping off something a handful of times in his four and a half years on this earth, and he tends to scare other people’s parents more than his own. I know I will eat these words some day… but this guy just loves jumpin’ off stuff.
And I have absolutely no idea where he gets it.
We stopped for a picnic lunch at noon, and Milo and Oliver chose a nice spot off the trail overlooking a little pond. Of course, on top of a boulder.
Then the comedy of all comedies occurred when both Milo and Oliver suddenly had to go to the bathroom (eh-ehm not the easy kind) and we were as far away from the entrance and the toilets as we could be… so, you know, they just went. Don’t worry. We buried it and properly disposed of the napkins used for wipe-age. So if you’re in the area, you know. Watch your step. Hey, what can you do?When we made it back to the car, Milo made a mad dash to the swing set while Andrew got Oliver cleaned up at the car…
And Emil enjoyed his very first swing!
He loved it!
It was a wonderful day. We all returned feeling alive and refreshed… well, after I crashed for a major nap with Emil! Milo and Oliver were so rejuvenated from spending the entire day out of doors. It was fun foreshadowing onto what this spring and summer will be like. I can’t wait to have more adventures with these guys!