Day 34: Davey Crockett National Forest
The gray, cold morning invited me to stay inside the tiny hunting cabin and bury under the covers to hide from the chill. But little hearts longed for bundled-up adventuring. We inhaled the crisp wet scent of mossy woods, and the brisk air bit at my fingers – four-wheelers became chariots on logging roads as we broke the silence of the morning with laughter.
In the clear-cut at the end of the secret forest trail, he would be the bravest boy, marching ahead in the brambles and grass to chase down trees yielding pinecone treasure. And little hands would reach out and down to carefully collect memories.
Because even at 3, he is full of memories. There is the story of the pinecones he once painted on Thanksgiving and the one about the single yummy jelly bean he was given at the store down the road when he was just a “two-boy.” He talks about singing “It’s a Small World” so many times at Disneyland and about telling daddy to “be safe – slow down” as they wakeboarded on the lake and how he gets to wear his pajamas to the Monkey donut store with Papa because that’s what boys do but not girls.
Little eyes watched the brave boy, and the tiny toddler who adores her Bubba and singing “Jesus Loves Me” again and again ran to catch her pinecone hunter hero.
In that moment, watching little feet run, I felt immortality and frailty twist like the vines under the East Texas pines. My legacy before me in boots and parkas. There would be running on soccer fields and running on playgrounds and running to get in line dressed in mortar boards and gowns and running into the arms of their most beloveds someday. The stories would stack high like a strong stone wall, guarding their hearts with love even when the days offer them the gift of immortality and frailty – watching little hearts and hands and feet and listening to the memories of brave boys.
“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” ~Alder
Shoot like a Girl began as part of the #31days project. You can learn more about the “why” of my story and see all my daily posts here. I’d love to stay in touch with you – be sure to subscribe to my blog to get updates on stories and special projects.