On Saturday, I had my first Colorado Hiking experience. We left the kids with Leslie’s friend Amy for a playdate with her kids, and Christina, Leslie and I hit the trails of Chautauqua Mountain.
By the time we got to the mountain, it was noon and at least 100 degrees out. Thank God we were armed with water bottles and cute hiking skirts.
As we started up the hill, I started to breathe funny. “I can’t breathe very well,” I panted. “I am really out of shape!”
“No you’re not, it’s just the altitude, you old lady” Leslie said.
“Me too” said Les. “We can take a break in the shade up there.”
The “shade” couldn’t come fast enough.
Christina seemed fine, but she was sweating too, so I didn’t feel like such a dork.
“My heart is beating so fast,” I said as I guzzled out of one of the water bottles.
“I think I am addicted to water.” Leslie said. “I may have a problem.”
Naturally we all started cracking jokes about being in a group for recovering water addicts.
I finally caught my breath and could take in the scenery. It was amazing. Huge mountains and trees and blue skies - a true post card moment.
“I feel very small here in Colorado.” I said.
We managed to keep going for about another 30 minutes or so, taking frequent breaks and talking to “the locals” whenever there was a shady spot and then Leslie’s phone rang.
I had a sinking feeling that it was about Emma.
Apparently she wasn’t playing with the kids outside on the slip-n-slide, and Leslie’s friend Amy was worried that she wasn’t having a good time. “No need to rush.” Amy said.
Time to go back.
“It’s the bees.” I said. “She doesn’t like to go outside when there are bees.”
Thankfully, going down the hill was much easier than going up, except for the fact that I felt like I was going to fall on my butt at any given moment. There were a couple of close calls, but no falls.
We made it Amy’s house in record time and Emma was fine. I thanked Amy for watching her, and asked my daughter why she didn’t want to play with the other kids, and she told me there were wasps out there.
Amy said that she actually went to the store and bought wasp spray and then she sprayed the wasps in front of Emma so that she could see that they were all gone, but that didn’t really help. She said Emma wouldn’t talk much, either.
“Thank you so much Amy. It’s nothing personal.” I said with my tail between my legs.
As my “verge of having another not so great Mom moment” started to percolate, it was time to go.
I took a breath, told Emma to thank Amy and her kids for letting her “play” at their house. She managed to mumble a "thankyou," and we headed straight for Left Hand Brewery.
Christina and I were in on the secret that Leslie’s husband Michael was planning a surprise party for her, so this was part of a stall. The brewery was the perfect place. It was packed with kids and adults, and I commented on how funny that was. “We start them early here in Boulder,” Leslie joked.
We grabbed some seats and a beer and the kids had some fizzy drinks and pretzels. As luck would have it, as soon as Leslie went to the bathroom, we got the call from Michael saying it was OK to come back home.
As we pulled into her development, Leslie noticed that there were some people in the lawn by their apartment, and lots of kids running through the sprinklers. Jones and Lola started giggling as they were also in on the surprise, and Leslie started to realize what was going on.
There was a big sign saying Happy 40th!, so that was a bit of a giveaway.
We parked the car and the kids ran out and we all joined in for what was a really fun evening of friends, food, and homemade birthday cake. Michael told Leslie that she and her friends were not to lift a finger, so we all just sat back and enjoyed ourselves. Leslie seemed really happy, and it was so great that Emma and I could be there to share this special day with her.