Offspring the Third appeared to thoroughly enjoy exploring the woods and stream while we were out camping this past weekend. He found something he thought was particularly interesting -- a desiccated elk carcass --- and took me and Beloved Husband to see.
While he led the way through the woods, it was clear to me that he was in his element: he described the places where he had been previously and the best ways to cross the stream; he pointed out a striking, giant dead tree; and talked about the spiderwebs over the water and the quantity and types of spiders.
When we reached the point where we needed to cross the stream, he went first, stepping confidently across the flowing water using the narrow path of rocks. He paused while I followed him to check to ensure I had solid footing, and held out his hand to help me make the last jump back onto the bank.
It was genuinely touching. I did not feel self-conscious about taking his hand for the tricky parts, because he was so matter-of-fact and unassuming about his assistance -- a rare gift. I do not like to ask for help; and behold, because of his thoughtfulness, I did not need to do so. Yet still, I did receive that small piece of help I needed. It was lovely.
Sometimes, I still think of Offspring the Third as being very young. Yet seeing his confidence in the woods, and the way he explained the all that he had learned from his exploration and and how he patiently led us along his chosen path, I was aware more than ever that the last of my Offspring is now a young man, and that soon enough, his path will extend farther into the world than I have ever imagined.
Oh, Offspring the Third. I wish for you, that you and your kind heart will have have many, many enjoyable adventures in the years to come. Perhaps, if I am lucky, you will show me some more of your paths in the future.
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