Lightning Bolts

Katiedid Langrock on

"Why was Poseidon trying to kill us?" asked my 4-year-old.

"It was Zeus," said my 7-year-old.

"But we're on the water," said my 4-year-old.

"But Zeus has the lightning bolt."

Our hike began like any other of our family hikes -- with me trying to rally like a hyperactive golden retriever. I jumped and smiled and spun, chasing my tail as I tried to reassure the pack that we were going to have fun, fun, fun! They grumbled. They couldn't find their shoes. They wanted to know how much farther. We hadn't even left the RV.

I pulled up the hike on my phone, a long circuitous route to the site of three sunken ships in Lake Michigan. It'd be about a 5-mile round trip.


I checked the weather. Chance of rain in six hours. Just in case it would come a bit early, I packed raincoats -- but just for the kids. What are the odds? But a mother always prepares!

I considered that walking to the site of such destruction might be a sign, an omen in its own right that this could be an ill-fated trip. Meh!

We hit the path. I trudged forward, far ahead of the rest, carving the trail, confident in my choice. Yes, this is good for my family. This is healthy. This is teaching character!

I looked over my shoulder. The rest were far behind. One child was complaining of blisters. The other child was being carried by my husband. We were only a third of a mile in. Two more miles to go. So far, this was normal. So far, we were the same as always. So far, so good.


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