Day 10 Campton to Ashland cont.
Griffin and I never ran out of things to talk about. Sometimes there would be silence and sometimes there would be discussion. It was always comfortable.
“What’s your next goal after this?” I asked him, looking at the white of the birches gracefully bowing over the water on my left. “Your next goal on your bucket list, what are you going to do when this is over?”
One of the reasons Griffin and I had undertaken this trip was to prove to ourselves that even with Lyme disease and chronic illness; we could still accomplish walking from one end of the state to the other.
Now that it was Day 10 we were starting to see the finish line. What we had doubted on a daily basis in the beginning (and even as late as last night when we thought we wouldn’t be able to continue) was starting to look like a distinct possibility. We were going to do this.
I could tell that Griffin was chewing on the thought, considering what would be a good next goal.
“I want to learn how to walk on stilts.”
I was surprised. “You mean the type of stilts that you hold onto?” I told him about the stilts, which were nothing more than a stick with a cross piece to stand on that I had used when I was a kid.
“No I want to learn how to use the type that strap onto your legs.”
“Why?” I asked.
“Because it’s something that I’ve always wanted to do.”
Something that he’d always wanted to do. Despite the rain, the heat, the never ending mileage and the pain that each day brought, the purpose of our walk had slowly made its way into my son’s very being along the way.
Do what you’ve always wanted to do and do it now.
“How about you?” he asked.
I thought. What was something I’ve always wanted to do? I thought of planning vacations for the kids, making them happy. Despite my best intentions, we had never been able to get them to Disneyland, going there was something I had always wanted to do, for them.
But that was for the family, it wasn’t just for me. Griffin and I were letting ourselves be selfish in naming our very own goals. What did *I* want to do?
“Well I know I’m going to write this adventure up.”
“That doesn’t count. You were going to do that anyway.”
“True. Well then I want to learn how to juggle.” Marc knew how to juggle and it bothered me to no end that, although he’s tried to teach me, I’m not able to juggle. I’m not talking about juggling 3 lit torches; I just want to be able to juggle 3 soft balls.
It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do.
“Well then do it,” said Griffin.
“You know what? I will.”
“You know what another goal on my bucket list is? Asked Griffin as we started up a steep hill. “It’s to sing the entire song of 100 bottles of beer on the wall. I remember when you did it for us and I’ve always wanted to sing it to completion.”
Griffin started singing and singing and singing.
He sang while going uphill and he sang on the way down. All I could think of was one of the rules in Stephen King’s horrific story The Long Walk, conserve your air – but Griffin sang on.
In case you were wondering – if you are walking, it takes approximately 1.5 miles to get through 100 bottles of Beer on the Wall.
But I’m willing to bet that it’s worth the sense of accomplishment when you are able to finally check that baby off of your bucket list.
(Here’s some information on why we took this trip.)
Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com
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