Grateful in The Middle of Nowhere

Davy & Beth: Arches National Park

When nothing makes sense and I am not quite sure what my purpose on this crazy planet is, thank the heavens I have a partner, who likes me just the way I am.

Dave & Kyle finishing their ride on the Slickrock Bike Trail

We spent the weekend in Moab and every single night Big Daddy agreed participate in our nightly movie rental. It was awesome and watching movies was exactly what we (I) needed to do to end the day.

Dave at the place where I almost blew a fuse, mentally, that is

This morning began with Dave showing Kyle the ropes at Slickrock Bike Trail, and they both rocked it. Way to go! It was so cool seeing the confidence and pure joy in Kyle’s eyes as he described how, “Mom, I would stop and walk it the angle was steeper than 45 degrees.” Our hikes at Arches National Park later today were delightful, and so what if I nearly blew a major blood vessel watching Dave climb up the super scary cliff. He made it! Oh thank God he did!

See, here is why Dave rocks my world. It was Friday early afternoon of our frist day here. We got a late start and Dave was less than thrilled. I had already freaked out because I left my phone at the condo, and insisted Dave go back. Then we both bit our tongues and we compromised. We drove back to the condo and decided to wait until nighttime to run my errand. We made it to the Monitor and Merrimac Bike Trail. Dave patiently took all four bikes off the rack and proceeded to put all four wheels on while I made a stop Nature’s Bathroom.

We were on our way and when I saw the deep sand and craggy trail, I was pissed and wanted to go back. Eli was on a new bike and was also freaking out. Then the phone call came. Dave received an important business call in the middle-of-wherever-we-were. “Really? Really” I thought. The kids and I threw our bikes to the ground and climbed a gigantic rock formation. Dave was a tiny speck yet I could still see him talking away. Once off the phone he called out to us. We took our sweet time climbing down and asked if we should just go bak to town. Gently he encouraged us through the cattle gate and said, “If we can just make it up this hill, I promise we can turn back.” We made it through the crazy sand and up the giant hill. Then more encouragement came. “Let’s go a little farther. You want me to show you how to change your gears?” He gently asked.
“Nope! No I don’t” I stiffly responded.

Us on our crazy bike ride

He stayed, always quietly by my side. Honestly, I do not know any other person who would have so kindly listened to me (and Easy E, for that matter) scream-shriek-bitch-whine for the first 75% of our long mountain bike ride (not super long, really) through that thick, thick sand (very true), and treacherous uphill-biking conditions (not really, but I did do a lot of strenuous uphill accompanied by a fair amount of huffing and puffing). As we were approximately fifty-seven percent complete I felt myself relax and started to unwind enough so that I could breathe. Eli had also let go of his new-bike anxiety and was seriously feeling the thrill of biking all the way. “Mom, this isn’t so bad. It is actually really fun now that I am more comfortable with my new bike.” Go figure. Frankly, so was I. Dave never tried to out do me. He never tried to compete or tell me what an awesome mountain biker he is (he actually is a spectacular technical mountain biker). Instead he patiently let my complaints wash over him as he road by me side, which he did the entire way. I think most people would have unfriended me or at least punched me in the mouth by then. Dave didn’t. He knew I was scared and he understood I was out of my comfort zone. He listened when I said, “I am really slow to get things like this,” and he pushed only as hard as I could handle. Somewhere in there, after we chowed down on some turkey jerky and granola bars, and while at this giant amphitheater in the middle-of-nowhere, he came over, grabbed me tight, looked into my eyes, and gave me a big squeeze. Then he proceeded to tell me how cute he thought I looked in my biking outfit. As we stood there, at a time when there was ample opportunity to give me a firm scolding, he never ever mentioned my bitching.

Arches National Park

We encouraged the boys ofd of their high climbing perches, got on our bikes and headed back. Aside from the super-sized fear I had believing it was possible that Eli could fall to his death on this crazy steep drop-off section, the ride back was a much happier, more confident journey.

When we were close to the end, and at a super cool downhill part, I urged Dave to go ahead. He hesitated. I insisted, he went for it and once down, he waited again. Dave, when I needed you most, you were there, no strings, no requirements, no jusdgements, you just stood by my side. Thank You!

I love you! I needed that ride! I needed this weekend.

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Young Fingers Slammed in the Camper Van Door On Our Way To Moab

Kyle in the camper van
Kyle in the camper van

A week ago my friend Marianne flew to Utah. Thankfully, we see Marianne often so she is used to our crazy life. We had been battling a cold virus for weeks and were on the edge from months of homelessness. Marianne was coming to see the Park City House. At least she was when she bought her plane ticket. Because there was no house to see we decided to take her to Moab.

We were exhausted from packing and preparing for our trip. With snotty kids in tow we made it to the airport. We were all hungry and I had a weird hankering to buy a thermos for our trip so we stopped at the new SLC Gateway shopping plaza. We couldn’t find parking so Dave dropped Marianne and I off.

In the Sports store I decided I wanted to buy an outfit for our trip. (I think the thermos was just a ploy.) I was on overdrive. While looking at all the hip track suits I hear my phone ring. I didn’t recognize the number. It was Dave calling from the store phone. He had found a parking spot and was in the store with the kids. After buying my fancy “New Jersey Girl” as Dave called it, jogging suit we were ready to get something to eat.

We went to drop our packages off before heading to the restaurant. As I was shutting the door to the van I looked both ways so to speak and slammed the sliding door shut. Out of nowhere I hear the blood curdling screams of Kyle. Out of somewhere from beyond I hear Dave’s even more curdling screams,

“You slammed his hand in the door. Beth, you slammed his hand in the door.”

Dave’s face was green and Kyle was in pain. His little fingers were swelling and he had blood all over his hand.

“Beth, how could you do that? Didn’t you see his hand?”

(Dave had been holding Kyle and Kyle had wrapped his hand inside the door of the van. No, I hadn’t seen his hand.)

Dave’s reaction and green face were so intense that I felt as though I had killed both of my sons. I took Kyle alone in the van to console him.

“Mommy, Mommy my fingers hurt. Mommy,” Kyle said through heaving sobs.

“Oh, Kyle, It was an accident. Can you forgive me?”

“It WAS NOT AN ACCIDENT!” He sobbed.

Then he paused for minute, caught his breath, and seemed to open up.

“I will forgive you.”

Of course I felt terrible. I still do. I tried to assure him,

“Kyle, Mommy did not mean to hurt you. She would never try to hurt you. It was an accident. I am so sorry Kyle.”

In true and  most generous form, Kyle followed with,

“I will forgive you, Mommy. It was an accident.”

During our interchange Dave went to the Sports store to buy Band-Aids and get ice. I called my brother Brian the doctor. He assured me that even if Kyle’s fingers were broken that we didn’t need to rush him to the hospital. Kyle was settling down and so was Dave. We decided it was ok to get some food. I held Kyle all the way and in the restaurant. Even though he was wiped out he was returning to his old self.

On the way to the van we stopped at the Gap and had a little hat buying spree. I see here that I am sweeping over some details and taking the tweezers to others. We bought hats for us and the kids at about a dollar a piece.

Gap Hats at Arches National Park, Moab, Utah
Gap Hats at Arches National Park, Moab, Utah

It was about 8:30 P.M. and we were still in SLC. We still needed to buy diapers and now more Band-Aids and pain reliever. As Marianne and I got the goods, Dave entertained the kids in the parking lot of Smith’s, the local grocery store. We got the kids ready for bed and finally hit the road.

Me and Moe Moab, Utah
Me and Moe Moab, Utah

Oh, it’s not over yet for this first day of our trip. Just before we reached Price, Utah, which is halfway between Moab and Salt Lake City, we nearly missed hitting a boulder that had fallen and was sitting in the middle of the road. Luckily the boulder had managed to roll into the other lane. A few cars were pulled off to the side, and we wondered if one of them had hit the rock. We also feared that someone would get killed trying to push the immense object off of the road. The rock must have weighed over a ton. We flashed oncoming cars to warn them. As we drove away from the boulder we hit really crazy thick fog. The fog so thick that we could not see the cars in front of us. And because of this thick fog, we felt like we were trapped together in a moving padded cell. At one point, Dave, Marianne, and I even discussed how we could get ahold of some Paxil (for all of the anxiety). Several miles and minutes later the fog cleared. We rolled into Moab at about 2:45 A.M. The condo we had rented for the occasion was wonderful and I couldn’t wait to put my head on my pillow.

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