Summer is over, yet here I am trying to catch up on my summer vacation posting. Posting this last post, about our days in Glacier National Park, has been on my to-do list for the past month and a half. But so are so many other things, and those things have taken priority.
Ah, Glacier. This amazing national park embedded itself into my soul. I can’t stop thinking of it or reading about it or looking at online photos of the park. During the week, I check my weather app for local weather, and then I automatically check the weather forecast in Glacier. I tell my husband about bear sightings or recent snow in the area. I’m certain he’s getting tired of me doing that, but I can’t seem to help myself.
We were lucky to snag rooms in the historic Many Glacier Hotel for a couple of nights. We booked our room about a year in advance. It was small, with two double beds, no air conditioning, a clawfoot tub in the bathroom, and a shower rigged into the tub that required following a list of about 17 steps in order to turn it on – and again, in reverse, to turn the shower off. I loved it.
It all begins on Monday.
I don’t feel ready for this next part of my daughter’s life. Or rather, I do feel ready in part. I feel ready for the part where I stick to my parenting skills, where I love her unconditionally, and where I try my very best to support her no matter what. But I don’t feel prepared for all the outside pressures that I know will be piled on her shoulders as she enters middle school.
I worry that we have not prepared her well enough for the mean girls she will certainly encounter or for the subtle bullying that I know she’s already experienced (and didn’t recognize).
I hope we’ve prepared her to trust her instincts and intuition about what is right and what is wrong. I think we have, but these next years will be telling.
The night before our final full day in Banff, I found myself stressing out about the hike I’d planned for the following day. A dark, needling feeling of doubt had inserted itself into my mind, and that feeling grew stronger as the hike grew nearer.
I worried that the hike was going to be too far for us, and that I wasn’t fit enough to make it to the end. I worried that the kids would hate it, and I worried that I would hate it. I worried about bears. Actually, I worried quite a lot about bears.
But mostly, I worried that I wasn’t capable.
I kept these fears to myself. I didn’t want the kids to know that I had any doubts. I didn’t want them to have any reason to whine and complain any more than usual. If they started in on me about not going, I knew that I might back out. And I had no intention of backing out of this hike. As nervous as I was about it, I was committed to completing it.
There are two hikes in Banff, both out of the Lake Louise area, that lead to historic tea houses. The most popular one is to the Lake Agnes Tea House, a tea house has been serving customers since 1905, and it is a 4.5 mile round trip hike. Our guide book recommended it as an excellent hike for families. The other tea house hike is to the Plain of Six Glaciers Tea House, built in 1924, and a 7 mile round trip hike.