It’s starting to hit me that we’re on the verge of a lot of “lasts” with Michaela. In a few months, she’ll be done with preschool and move on to elementary school. This is the last spring we can go on vacation without having to worry about disrupting her academic schedule. It’s the last few months of taking a nap each day at school. And as it happened, today was the last Canyon Hike she’ll go on with her preschool class.
A Canyon Hike is exactly what it sounds like. The class, along with teachers and parent chaperones, walk down into the canyon behind the school and look at nature, learn about plants, and just enjoy being off campus. I was able to go on one Canyon Hike last year but had missed all of this year’s. So when I got an email this morning from the teacher saying they’d be doing one today – the last chance, since April marks the start of snake season and they don’t do them at that time – I was really bummed I couldn’t be able to attend. Tuesday, you see, is when we have executive cabinet meetings at work and I really can’t miss those unless it’s a big deal.
I told Michaela there’d be a hike today and she immediately started pleading with me to go. I explained to her that I couldn’t, that I had an important meeting… and then I thought, “Wait. That meeting isn’t more important than participating in this ‘last.'” I double checked the agenda to be sure I wouldn’t be missing anything vital and then sent a note to my boss that I wouldn’t be in.
I took Michaela out for bagels before we went to school, which is a special treat in and of itself. After the whole class gathered for some instructions and reminders, we departed. I hiked around with her and her classmates for two glorious hours, holding hands with wee ones, helping them across a little stream, looking through binoculars, examining tracks on the trail, and just being a mom. It was fantastic.