We took seven days to drive around the southern loop of Ireland. It was full of green hills, sheep, rocky cliffs, great food, little pubs with music, quaint B&Bs, rainy moments, sunny moments, rainbows galore, and all of the castles you could ever dream of. It was everything Ireland should be and more, and I got to experience it with my love who, on top of a mountain top, asked me to keep on doing this thing for like.. ever. So there’s that.
We were visiting Aaron’s parents last week. We hit up our favorite summer swimming hole, Steamboat Creek. There’s a series of waterfalls, a sandy beach, and perfect spot for cliff jumping into deep cool swimming holes… the place is incredible. Holly and I stood at the top of the 15ft jumping off point. We held hands and she nervously chewed on her finger nails. I ask her if she wanted to jump and she said she was scared. Really scared. She asked if everyone would be proud of her if she jumped, and I said we’d love her no matter what, but that we would all think she was the bravest 6 year old we knew if she did. She thought about it some more and rubbed her belly that was floating with butterflies. I told her that whenever I’m afraid of anything I take a deep breath, count to three, and just leap. She said ok. She held my hand tighter, we counted to three, and jumped. She is one amazing little girl. It’s not that she is fearless, just the opposite. She’s full of fear to the point that she can feel her tummy turning into knots and chews down her fingers to raw skin. She always find the courage to leap despite her fear.
It’s no fun having a broken clavicle bone during the best days of summer vacation. Somehow though, even with his arm wrapped up in a painted navy blue sling, he finds the pleasure in sitting and watching. He notices things. He finds frog-barfing-snakes hidden in tiny little cracks by the creek, and accepts help walking back and forth through the running stream. He watches and smiles at his sister jumping off cliff tops, and explores the colorful river rocks with his Grandma. He makes the best of his time in a beautiful place, taking it all in, noticing the things too small for the rest of us to see.
On the last morning of our trip Holly pulled me away from the breakfast table and whispered in my ear. She didn’t want everyone to watch, but she wanted me to pull out her very first, extremely loose bottom tooth. We took a deep breath, counted to three, and I pulled it out. She’s the bravest girl I know.