Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ellerbee Girls Bonding Adventure

Decisions, Decisions...

The day started out innocently enough. We made a list of parks that we like around Springfield to investigate for Jordan's graduation party. First we went to Founder's Park. This is a park downtown. They often show movies here in the summer. It's a very industrial looking park with a lot of stone and not very much grass.
It has a lot of historical significance with pictures about the history of Springfield.
I like it a lot. Jordan wants something with more nature.
And so we move on to Jordan Valley Park.
Also downtown, but with a fountain you can play in and more grass.
I also like JVP, but it has the potential of being kind of boring for a graduation party. No playground equipment or anything to do really.
The girls did enjoy playing with their shadows.
We went with a see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil and ignore all evil theme for this picture of all my girls.
Bored easily with shadow puppets, we moved on to Jordan's number one choice. Sequiota Park. We used to go to this park a lot when Jordan was little. Perhaps that why she has such fond memories of it.... after today, we all have fond memories of it.
Sequiota park has a cave. A pavillion. A walking trail. A pond with inches of scum on the surface. Bike trails. Picnic tables. Playground equipment. Ducks.
We decide to go on a nature walk.
That's where this adventure takes an ugly, dirty, terrifying turn.
Looks serene enough, doesn't it?
I can almost look at this picture and think that I am anywhere else...
Things begin to take that ugly turn when the girls discover several large trees down, laying across a running creek. Granted, the water was only about a foot deep, however all I could think about was Leslie in A Bridge to Terabithia being swept down the river to her death.
I am terrified of heights. And I mean terrified. Paralyzingly terrified. I keep moving forward, in a kind of catatonic state.
Of course, the children take off across the smaller section of the creekbed. Jaiden goes tiptoeing across the sticks. Jameson, in typical Jameson style, just barrels through the water, shoes and all, not caring at all that she isn't using any of the debri in the water as steps. Justine goes in right after Jaiden. She falls down. On Jaiden. Jaiden goes flying into the water. Justine follows. Shoes are floating down the river. Both are soaked. Jaiden is screaming at Justine.
It was a nice, bonding moment for all. I silently wish I had gone to the bathroom before this little hike. Laughing that hard, needing to pee and being around water... could end very badly for me. But I trudge forward.... still somewhat catatonic.
And then... we come to this mother of all trees across the creek. It's got to be at least 20 feet in the air... OK maybe it was more like 10. But for someone who is so afraid of heights, like me, it might as well have been 100 feet in the air.
Here is the monster log...
And here, my friends, is a picture of my foot, as I walked across that log. Yes, I even got my camera out of my pocket and took a picture because I knew NO one would believe that I would EVER walk across a log all acrobat of China-style.
So as if needing to pee, being around water and laughing wasn't enough to challenge my bladder control, add absolute FEAR to the mix.
The girls were all cheering me on. I was screaming, "I'm freaking out here." I contemplate turning around, but I can't even do that. I consider getting on my hands and knees to crawl the rest of the way, but I am unable to do anything other than continue the inch by inch baby steps in my soaking wet shoes which now have no traction on the bark of the tree. The end of the log is like a bright light beckoning me... daring me to keep going. I finally reach the end and breath for the first time in multiple minutes. I am light headed. I still need to pee.
Of course, my girls crossed the tree like it a 5 foot wide side walk. Miss Jameson pretty much skipped across it. She probably could have turned cartwheels across it.
The others were a little more cautious. Did I mention that they all went across barefooted and I was the one carrying 4 pairs of shoes when I had to walk across?

We were really doing well until Justine fell...and then fell again... and again. Suddenly she was like a magnet being drawn to the ground. The last straw was when she fell onto a large rock while crossing the creek. The drama that girl can put down is amazing. She was screaming and crying and blaming me for "making" her come here in the first place.
No, she wasn't hurt... too badly. She kept screaming about a broken patella. "My fibula... my tibia... my patella." She was screaming so loudly that I was concerned someone would think we really did hurt her. She would settle down and as soon as we looked at her, she would begin screaming at the top of her lungs. Jordan and I continue to laugh at her in a manner which really did lack any compassion. She had a bruise on her knee and was very, very dirty, but her bones were intact.
After long hot baths, we all settled into our PJ's for dinner. Justine, of course, had to put her leg up on a pillow with an ice pack. Continuing to cry intermittently and telling Jeff how it was "mommy's fault" that she "broke" her patella.
We had a wonderful adventure, and the location of the graduation party was decided.
I hope they don't expect all the guests to have to cross the log.
That would be some party! You wanna come?


Julia & Brad said...

Yes I DO want to come! I want to meet the three kids I haven't met yet! What a bunch of characters--just like their mommy!

Oh yeah--I've pretty much decided I want to BE Jordan when I grow up :-)

Chris said...

What a wonderful days with the girls!! I love the pictures, they are all priceless!! From one fellow height fearer to another~ way to go making it across that log! We too have a "it's mommy's fault" moment as well. Only ours ended in the ER with Caitlin telling the nurses it was mommy's fault. Can you say CPS, yikes!!
Can't wait to see you all at the reunion!!

Ransom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Monica said...

Justine's drama sounds JUST LIKE my seven year old!!! Too funny!!!

(sorry...I deleted the above comment (which was the same as this one)...because I accidentally posted under my "dog's profile", which is sort of weird!)