About a week ago my 6-year-old came to us saying, “When are we going to take a trip again?” His question hit the jackpot because I had already planned a little weekend getaway about a month ago without telling them. Needless to say they were pleasantly surprised when we told them that we were going on a little vacation after school Friday. I booked a night at a resort in Cle Elum, WA. It is a beautiful resort that sits on top of the hill looking over the Cle Elum River.
The day we arrived it was pouring rain so we mostly stayed indoors eating and enjoying the big bathtub in the hotel room. The next morning we got some wonderful sunshine. We took the long stairway outside of the hotel resort down to the river. They call that stairway “1000 steps.” While I don’t know if it is really one thousand steps down, it is quite a stairway. We spent a few hours walking down to the river and enjoying the beautiful autumn scenery that the Pacific Northwest has to offer. What came as a surprise for me is that none of my kids complained about the hike and the walk. I often don’t like to take kids out hiking because I’ve always thought they would complain about the excessive walking and find nature boring. This experience made me realize I was wrong! They were all really great and actually enjoyed the hike and exploring nature.
On our way back I snapped a photo of the side of the hill. It was very typical autumn scenery, but something about it spoke to me. After I went back home I used the photo as a reference and did a painting of it. I really like how it turned out. It is another painting that feels personal to me. Even though a lot of scenery is more beautiful and extraordinary than what I picked to paint, it is just not as personal to me as this specific view. I remember snapping the photo while we were taking a small breather on our way back to the hotel. This view reminds me that I should never assume anything about my kids. They are much more capable and receptive than I thought. Sometime maybe they just need a bit of reassurance and encouragement from us. I am guilty sometimes of assuming they are not going to enjoy a certain activity and end up robbing them of the potential enjoyment and experience.
This is not something I expected to learn from this little weekend getaway, and I wasn’t planning to paint this particular scene. I suppose this is why we break the routine and the usual once in a while—to create new memories and look for hidden gems in our life. We came back home physically tired but emotionally recharged. As I am writing this to you, I am already looking forward to our next little trip. And yes, that will be a surprise for the kids as well. ;)