We needed to be in Chattanooga for my nieces wedding and friends with a 2nd home in Tennessee offered us their place, so we went up early and made a little vacation out of it. Located in Coalmont, we were an hour out from Chatt, but it was worth it.
We also loved the surroundings. The morning after we got in we headed to some local falls family in Nashville had told us about. Ten minutes of driving, 15 minutes of hiking (.5 miles but it was rocky and consider our crew!) and then this:
Gorgeous, true, but it was a little loud.
Which put Toby on edge.
They had it all to themselves. Tennessee schools are already back in, and we didn't see another person until we were heading back out.
Kevin and the boys climbed their way to the falls and walked behind it. I took a few pictures but missed the part where they got in the water and swam back across because my picture taking perch was a little too far from where I'd set Toby and I didn't want him to tumble in and get carried away!
It's all about having the right stick, isn't it?
I'd say Toby hiked (holding a hand for stability) .4 miles on the way in. After that it was all steep stairs and Daddy held him. On the way back, after being on edge (but never losing it!) for so long at the falls, only Mommy would do.
The WHOLE way back.
It's a good thing A. Mommy is in shape enough to walk .5 miles uphill carrying 30 pounds on her hip and B. Is no longer as prone to knee sprains as she was in her teens and early 20s considering the rocky footing and the fact that she was stupidly wearing flip flops.
On the way back we wanted to stop for lunch but uh, dining options between Altamont, TN and Coalmont, TN aren't plentiful. There's one restaurant and it was cash only (oh, country life) so that left us with the pizza/sandwich place in a gas station. Ok.... But Toby was NOT having it. Would NOT get out of the van and I thought... If I bring him in there against his will he's just going to keep screaming and if by some miracle I get him to stop and eat something, he's been so tense all morning there's no way he'll keep it down.
Toby and I stayed in the van.
Did I lament the fact that Toby's anxiety was preventing us from all eating together in the gas station diner?Um, no. No I did not.
And I thought about it as I sat and he climbed around the van. If an adult, upon pulling up at a place he'd never been, immedietly after hiking to a waterfall where he'd also never been, had said, "I've had enough new things for the day, I think I'll sit right here." It would be dismissed as odd but would probably also be acknowledged as good that he knew his limits and left at that.
Doesn't my kid deserve the same respect? Because when Toby screamed, "NO, NO, NO," upon pulling up at a new place, the day after he'd just spent the night in a new place, and right after he'd just experienced a whole new thing, isn't that what he was saying? We're all about pushing Toby but something about that moment reminded me to respect his limits as well.
I know we're pushing Toby. I know the lack of routine is terrible for him.
But it's still my favoritest season.