This particular trail parallels a river that Ethan is fascinated with. I'm not lying when I tell you it took us at least 30 minutes to cross a very small bridge because Ethan was so enamored with running from one side to the other to check out the rushing river below.
As we walked on, I was determined for him to experience the river itself. I very fondly remember splashing in creeks, making mud pies and collecting muscle shells. I want to pass on all of these childhood memories so badly to Ethan that I probably introduce them a little sooner than I should. We weren't dressed for river wading yesterday, but I didn't care. I couldn't fight the urge. So, I left the stroller on the side of the trail, walked carefully down to a shallow part of the river, kicked off my shoes and we got in!
I've always been somewhat of a reserved person. I wouldn't be what you would call a fun-loving girl or maybe not even a go with the flow type of girl. I've always been the sensible one. The realist you might say. I'm the girl in the "make a crazy face!" picture that is still smiling her normal smile.
Under all of my..."I'm too responsible of a person to join in on that" attitude, I'm super self conscious. I'm concerned with what other people might think about me. I curse myself for saying or doing the wrong thing. I over analyze situations that no one will probably ever even remember. I'm easily embarrassed and have sat on the sidelines maybe more than I should have throughout my life in fear that I would look like an idiot for trying whatever crazy idea other people were doing.
It's funny how having a child can change you. People always say it will, but you never really know just exactly how. I'm determined to not pass my uber self-conscious traits onto Ethan. I'll pass a few on I'm sure. That's okay, a little self awareness does a person good. Showing strangers his belly button won't be cute forever and when the time comes, I'll be sure to let him know.
Ethan is a happy-go-lucky child who doesn't mind blazing his own trails. He's an explorer. He's a socialite. He's not afraid to express himself. I certainly don't want to stifle any of those amazing qualities in anyway.
I have to thank Ethan for bringing me out of my shell a bit. When it comes to him having fun, I really could care less about how it makes me look. In fact, I'm so wrapped up in the fun that I don't even feel the least bit self conscious. I know as parents we are suppose to be the ones doing all the raising, but I can't help but admit that Ethan might be doing a little raising too in the process. After all, there's always room to grow, no matter the age.