Shooting Stars

Night hikes are a camping tradition and when darkness fell, we excitedly set off for the rocks.

After our spontaneous sunset swim and jumping off beautiful rocks at Killbear, we roasted marshmallows and made s’mores at our campsite.

T was now sugared up on s’mores and a watermelon slush from dinner.

He was bouncing off the walls with excitement for the hike – climbing trees and jumping off a boulder and picnic bench on our site.

It was past his bedtime and he was overtired and getting mouthy when we asked him to calm down.

But we knew these hikes happened once a year, so we changed to long sleeves, put on bug spray, armed ourselves with flashlights and set off back up the rocks.

We passed by the dark beach and it was calming to hear the water and see silhouettes of people enjoying the evening.

It was more challenging to hike up the rocky inclined path in the dark, navigating the jagged or slippery rocks and tree branches and roots.

But the view at the top was well worth the trek – beautiful Georgian Bay lit up by a full moon.

With no light pollution that we often have in the city, the stars were in clear mesmerizing view.

We lied down on the rocks and looked up at the sky.

T watched the stars for five minutes cradled in the hubby’s arms then decided he had enough.

He got up and started running around, fiddling with his flashlight, getting light in the hubby’s face – annoying him as he missed the two shooting stars that I saw.

Sitting in the dark, I let my mind tune T out and I focused on the gift of this moment.

It’s been an interesting journey parenting T and there truly have been some hard lows – moments when my mind went to truly dark places.

But the blessing of this night reminded me that we can let darkness consume us or we can focus on the bright stars.

I made two wishes with the two shooting stars I saw. And no, it was not to take T’s FASD away. It’s a part of him and I’ve made peace with that.

I wished for T to grow up happy, healthy, independent and self sufficient, successful, and to be surrounded with light, love and friendship.

I believe this wish is within reach.

T can be a real pest and he drives us batshit crazy often – but he is good at his core.

On our hike up and down the dark rocky inclined path, T had no problem zipping ahead of me. I am a slow hiker as I love to savour the moment.

Every few moments, T circled back to me to shine his flashlight on my path. “Here you go, so you don’t trip.”

Often times, I think it’s the hubby and I that’s shining a light on this kid’s path in life – but really, he also illuminates our lives with his bright light.

32 thoughts on “Shooting Stars

  1. I’ve never actually gone for a night hike before. Glad you had clear skies to admire the night sky. How lucky to see two shooting stars, especially considering how T lost interest real fast and started to play with his flashlight! It’s funny because it’s memories like these that we remember. And they do make for some great stories!

    1. Welcome back, Linda and hope you had a nice trip and that reentry will not be too bad!

      Night hikes are the best and especially with little kids. Something I know and hope you will enjoy in the near future. 😊 The shooting stars were a real bonus for sure! 🙏

      1. Thanks! We flew home yesterday morning and it’s back to work today (but at least it’s a short week). Good to know that night hikes are quite popular with the kids! Now that the days are getting shorter, I don’t even need to stay up late to see the stars!

  2. you have such a beautiful way with words – Not So Fun Fact – I have never seen a shooting star and we are in non-light-polluted areas when we travel. I think it’s my lack of patience! Glad you got to wish on two stars and loved that you accept T for who he is and not try to wish away his diagnosis – families need to hear that – V

    1. Thanks Vickie. Writing is my therapy. 😊 Shooting stars go by quite fast so I’m lucky to have spotted them during this recent trip. The hubby was so annoyed T made him miss them. 😆

  3. What touching words Ab! Seeing the stars away from the city is amazing without the light pollution. I think another good thing about your hike is that you are teaching T not to be afraid of the dark but embrace it. You deserve dad of the year award. Your night pictures turned out great!

    1. Thanks Diane. I love watching the night sky away from the city. And T is certainly becoming less afraid of the dark. 🙏

  4. Such a sweet post, Ab! I think it’s very human and normal for people in your situation to have their minds wander to dark places. But you show us the importance of creating moments like this night hike where you can reflect on the little but meaningful things that happened along the way. And to come to a conclusion that T illuminates your life and your husband’s with his bright light certainly shows that the hike was worth every second.

    1. Thanks Bama. It was a sweet moment that I wanted to write, reflect and remember. 😊 I think whether it’s a night hike, meditation, therapy or whatever, it’s important to take a step back and reflect on the big picture – and that’s when you see the stars from the night sky.

      Hope you’re enjoying your weekend. Hyperactive kid dribbling a basketball in the living room over here. 😆

    1. Thank you! These memories are truly priceless for me.

      Night hikes are so worth it and I do recommend making sure you do it with someone and not by yourself for safety reasons. And enjoy the magic in the night!

    1. I wholeheartedly agree Gary. One of your posts that still resonate with me is when you got both up in the middle of the night to drive off on a nature adventure. These are the memories that last a lifetime and make us feel alive. I knew you’d get it. 🙏

  5. The image of T circling back to help light your path is just beautiful — your little boy has such a good heart. And I love your reminder to focus on the stars rather than the darkness. Even at our lowest points, there is always something to be grateful.

  6. Such honest parenting Ab. It can be tempting to skirt around the hard stuff- at least when my kids were young and you wanted to avoid telling other people your family was human and imperfect! Parenting does mean that commitment to hang in with the good and the hard and the good moments really help to shine over the difficult ones.

    1. Thanks Deb! I try to keep it real as I know I’m not the only one on this journey and it helps normalize it for the larger community. 😊 And it’s also free therapy for me. 😆

  7. What a beautiful way you have of viewing everything, my friend. And no, I don’t only mean the stars, but life’s ups and downs. You are a super dad and T is a very lucky young man. Hugs

    1. Thanks Jill. It really is all about perspective. I don’t always view things in a positive way but I do my best. It helps a lot. Have a wonderful rest of your week. I need some Jolly Monday coffee this morning. Up way too early. 😆

      1. We can’t ALWAYS view things in a positive way … we are, after all, human and there is much negativity all around that HAS to have an impact on us from time to time. You do well, though … better than most! Here’s a cuppa to start your day … ☕

  8. Love this reminder to focus on our stars instead of our dark! What a gorgeous sky that must have been. And T coming back to light up your way?? Priceless! Apparently he’s not the only one surrounded by love, light and friendship! <3 <3 <3

    1. Thanks Wynne! It was a beautiful evening, perfect weather and temperature, clear sky and full moon. A wonderful way to end the summer. 😊 Hope back to school is going well for you all.

  9. I hope T has a great first day back to school! I love that he enjoys being outdoors so much! Looks like. Abeautiful trip!!

    1. Thanks Rebecca. It’s been a great start to the school year so far. The camping trip was a nice way to close off summer. 😊 Hope you and your kids had a good start to school too! And Happy advanced FASD Day this Saturday!

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