Northern Michigan

All of the books written about adventure are of the women and men who’ve done the hard climb, who’ve kayaked the rapids, or who’ve camped in the wilderness for weeks. Where are the books from the mothers who raised those people? That’s what I’d like to read.

We came to this spot a few days ago and my first born wanted to hike down to the water, but I said no. The sign says not to do it because a rescue boat costs a lot if you can’t make it back up, but people hike down anyways. The problem is you never know what the hike back up is like. The shoreline varies, the sand avalanches, it might have rained, or a tree may have fallen and made a pocket that’s impossible to cross.

Today we woke early and went back — we’ve done it before in years past, but this year it’s a steep cliff at the bottom that doesn’t look as bad on the way down, but that was nearly impossible to get up on the way up. The sand kept giving way and the cliff kept getting steeper. It was way more than I bargained for. At one point, when I finally found a way that we could climb up, but that either of us might fall down if we weren’t careful, I said to my son, “I’m about to swear because I need you to know how serious I am. You cannot fuck around right now or you will fall or slide down this sand cliff and I cannot save you because I can barely save myself.” Thankfully, he listens as intently as his desire for adventure is.

We made it and we’ve always made it, but it’s time now for him to read the books and see the movies where the person doesn’t make it or where they have to cut off their own arm to make it. As the first of our children, he has always pushed our boundaries, but his need for physical exertion is beyond what either my husband or I has in us, I think. He said he doesn’t think that’s right, that we have the same needs and that every time he pushes us, we learn more about ourselves and what we can do. I told him that he was full of shit because we were on the hill climbing up and I had no filter left.

We drove home, he ate breakfast, and he’s out kayaking now. I’m writing this with bandaids on my knuckles from the climb while another of our kids is sitting on my lap: their abilities to chill miles from each other even though they were in the same womb at one point.

Where is Bear Grylls’ mother, anyways? I’d like to hear if she has any non-gray hairs left on her head. 

(You can see more on my Instagram stories @annieflavin, but it’s just me sweating and scared. Beautiful views, though. Also, if you like reading what I write, it would be great if you shared it with others — through social media or otherwise. If I want to write the book that I’d like to read - and hopefully you’d like to read! - I really do need a great community here. Thank you.)

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Anne FlavinComment