We had the fortunate opportunity to go on a road trip to the mountains. We drove 11+ hours straight to our mountain cabin getaway, brought all our groceries and meals with us, and continued to social distance there. While it was a lot of work to travel in this socially distanced way, it was so worth it. The mountains were good for our souls! While we were there, my husband and I had to put in extra effort to find daily adventures that weren’t too people-y.
One of those adventures was a road called Skyline Drive. When I first looked up this adventure, it was described as a scenic drive that is not for the faint of heart. Well, I am definitely faint of heart. Especially these days! Nope! Skyline Drive was OUT.
But then we saw the part about the dinosaur footprints. REAL dinosaur footprints right there that you can see and even touch. My kids LOVE dinosaurs. Last year on kindergarten career day, almost every little girl was dressed up as a teacher or a doctor. Mine was a paleontologist. “Reverse casts of actual footprints of ankylosaurus dinosaurs have been preserved in the exposed shale and limestone strata. Estimated age: 68 million to 65 million years.”- Colorado Springs Gazette.
So clearly we had to go. On the way to the start of this scenic drive (aka death defying narrow road on the tippy top of a high ridge), I told my husband to keep in mind that I was likely to feel a little anxious on this adventure.
Thankfully, the dinosaur footprints are near the beginning. We stopped and parked the car on a turnout, you know, the edge of a steep cliff. I made the kids climb out through one side and had a tight grip on their little hands! Their excitement over these dinosaur footprints was so so good, y’all. Their grins, laughs, cheers, and spouting of dino facts is exactly what you want kids to say/do when shown a cool science or nature experience. We even TOUCHED a footprint. (Not sure if that’s okay with the real paleontologists.)
Then we continued the drive. It’s not long, only a few miles. But oh man. You look like you’re just going to drive off into the clouds. I was not okay. My husband was all in and saying things like, “Look, girls, it looks like the road flies off the mountain!” When I oh so politely (yeah right) asked him to stop, he said all he could hear was me doing yoga breathing.
5 counts in. 5 counts out. Just breathe through it.
The views were breathtaking. Literally. 5 counts in. 5 counts out. Just breathe. I didn’t get the best pictures as I was focused on breathing, but from the ones shot through our filthy road trip windshield, you can tell why us faint of heart folks would need to focus on breathing.
Once we got to the bottom, my kids were still on cloud 9 about the drive and the dinosaur footprints. They talked about it nonstop the rest of the trip. I was able to breathe easier and heck, even smile about the Skyline Drive experience.
When I look toward the near future, I have to just breathe. 5 counts in. 5 counts out.
School? Distance learning? In-person school? Homeschooling? People asking if we want to join a homeschool pod of families? Aaaaahhhhh! It’s all just too much. Breathe. 5 counts in. 5 counts out.
Whatever we decide for our families, think of what the kids are going to remember and talk about. Let’s focus on them being excited about what they learned, cool experiences they had while learning, and even their friends. I don’t want them to remember that mommy was freaking out.
Every single one of us parents has a decision to make about schooling for our kids this fall. And there aren’t any great choices. We are given options that no one really wants to take. So you do you, mama. Do what works best for your family. Do what works best for your kids, for you, for your community. You do you. Just breathe. 5 counts in. 5 counts out.
We want our kids to remember the GOOD stuff of their in-person, distant, virtual, or homeschooled fall. There WILL be good stuff! How can I be so confident there will be good stuff to remember? Because teachers and moms all over this country are making it happen. It’s hard and we don’t like it, but we are making it happen.
The kids will remember the good stuff, not that mommy was freaking out.
On Skyline Drive, I was not okay. I tried to keep that to myself as 4 little ears in their car seats behind me were paying attention. If they heard my yoga breathing, that’s a-okay. That’s a good coping skill they can use, too. 5 counts in. 5 counts out. Just breathe.
I freaked out on my own, via Instagram and text with some of my close mom friends after we got off the ridge. I still freaked out. It’s okay to freak out. Just find outlets away from your kids.
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