- A few months ago, Mac and I started making noises about getting another dog – you know, a dog that actually plays, or moves, or likes kids. We decided on a Labrador. On Sunday, we got him. He is pictured below. Rocket named him Laser. Of course, that’s his name because it’s perfect.
- We have had Laser for 24 hours. I love Laser. Laser is wonderful. Laser is really freaking busy.
- Seriously people, what is WRONG WITH US? Our life was already insane. Chaos. Mayhem. Disorder. Noise. Pee. All of it reaching heights I never knew existed…and what do I do? “Honey, we need a family dog. We need one to go on trips with us and play catch and eat stuff it shouldn’t and bark.” Yes, clearly. That is what we need. Another mammal with toilet and obedience issues. Yay! And so my life is has reached a new pinnacle of crazy and I’m falling in deep love with this freaking dog, already. He’s bright, even-tempered, playful, engaged and eager to please. Not a spaz. He may actually be the least spastic member of this family.
- By the way, he is not my “fur baby.” And he never will be. Full stop.
- So the plan was that on Sunday we would drive up to Grass Valley to get the puppy from the breeder (no, we did not go to a shelter and we have our reasons and yes I am a terrible person and yes I should be shot. the end.). But on Tuesday, Mac texted me on his lunch break “Let’s camp in the foothills Saturday night.” And if there’s one thing I LOVE it’s impulsive decision-making and unplanned trips into the wilderness, so I said “hells yeah baby,” and found us a spot in a campground along the North Fork of the American River in the Tahoe National Forest. Incidentally, it was one of the best campgrounds I’ve ever been to and the trip was absolutely magical, probably because it was thrown together with very little thought or expectation, and we were all just glad to get the hell out of the Sac valley and its inferno ways.
- The campground was small and remote, filled to the brim with spruce and pine trees. The water poured from a natural spring in the ground. At the end of it was a swimming hole in the river. Above the pool was a gentle waterfall that poured across the rocks with just enough force the kids could safely ride their intertube down it, into the swimming hole. They did it about fifty times.
- Mac and I sat on a nearby rock and watched them play. Georgia slept in her stroller. It was one of those afternoons when you’re sure there is not a single thing in the world you need beyond what you have, right here and right now.
- And let me get all hippie on you for a minute. As I watched those kids play and laugh in that river, navigating rocks and slippery spots, pulling each other out of the water, scraping their feet on gravel, dunking unexpectedly under the water, getting cold, getting too much sun, getting filthy, I realized that THIS is the thing that allows kids to develop a love of the earth. They were playing with her. They were riding her waves, exploring her rocks, cooling themselves in her water. And I thought to myself, this is probably the most important thing I could ever teach my kids, because if you love the earth you always have a friend, a source of nourishment, a source of peace. A place to revive your spirits and clear your mind and wonder again, like when you were a kid and you spent 5 hours riding a little waterfall on the American River.
- My mom took us everywhere. We camped all the time. She always let me play in the river without the appropriate shoes. She always let me explore dunes and tide pools and rivers – alone and for hours and hours – and to this day, I feel in my bones that freedom, that joy and peace and wonder, and I feel a yearning for it sometimes. And I know where to go.
Wanna go sing kumbayah? Me too. But first, check out these pictures.
Have a great week, everybody.