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Horseshoe Builds Character

You know which Horseshoe I'm talking about, right?

Horseshoe Harbor.

A nature sanctuary off the beaten path.

My boys and I headed there on Sunday. We were not the only ones!

This is a view from the east trail overlooking the signature spine to the west and all the rocks that follow it. I like this because you can see people on the spine and the beach. Zoom in if you can!

What were we doing on that east trail?

Trying to get Brady to take a new hike. He loves to hike, and he has been testing the behavioral boundaries, so I hoped a hike as rough as his attitude would balance things out.

That trail is not well-traveled. It's thick, dark, moist, rocky and steep in places. He didn't really want to keep going, but we encouraged him that he could do it. He was reluctant and he resisted, but he did it. He did it! He went through quite a few tough spots.

It was interesting because, as his mama, I noticed a difference in him. He wasn't the whimpering stay-back-with-mom-as-the-protector like he used to be. He expressed more anger and frustration.

Luckily, we were in the woods. He was getting his anger out on the trail. A healthy practice, if you ask me. At least he was nice to the people! Well, nice or too caught up in his task to notice them. Also something different for him.

He is changing.

We sat at the beach for a bit, so he could throw rocks and watch the waves. A true refuge for him. He barely talked at all.

Then we climbed up that signature spine. He was afraid, but he did it last year, so I knew we could do it together.

He did it again!

Then we lowered down to where the edge meets those other rocks, so Esa and I could go for a dip.


It was brisk. Brady was being bossy and telling us to "get in now!" but we just went at our own pace. He really needs to learn that he is not the boss of the universe. I mean, I understand how he got that way, but things are changing, and this is the perfect time to reroute his neurological pathways.

It's exhausting, but it will be worth it.

It was so nice to be in the big lake out there. I haven't swam there for years!

Brady got bored and started climbing the rock spine before I was ready to go up. He marched on, so I figured he'd be okay. He picked a precarious spot to descend, but we made it. Whew. That's tough one-handed with your other hand hanging on to your precious little one!

Back on the beach, we looked up to see our co-pilot atop the bluff. It's a ways up there if you have never been. (Or even if you have!)

Luckily, conglomerate rock lends itself nicely to hand and foot holds.

Before we left, Brady ran the entire length of the beach from west to east. Then he plopped in the rocks to throw some. Esa and I looked at each other in amazement, shrugged then relocated to meet him.

Esa joined him in a rock throwing game.

Those two.

As you probably know, you don't just leave Horseshoe Harbor and go to your car. Nope. You hike back up the hill half a mile.

Brady rocked it out. He did it! What a trooper!

He didn't have much to say on the ride home, and we thought that was a good thing. Mr. Sassy Pants needed a good wearing out.

I know he will be stronger and more confident if we keep pushing him. Especially when he is pushing the limits. This phase is just part of the journey to him becoming a wonderful young man.

Everyone involved is doing their best to help him along the way. It's pretty enchanting.

As for the berries, they are out in full force! I am surprised at how many are still along the well-traveled paths because I know people go out to pick with buckets and such. But the trail nibble is abundant, and I'm grateful!

On Monday night Esa and I drove up to the top of Brockway Mountain to catch the sunset. That's a maybe once a year thing because it's pretty popular and we prefer the more secluded areas. We counted about 20 cars up there for Mother Nature's show of the evening. Twenty! I felt like we were in a drive in movie! Ha!

But it was pretty lovely.

I hope you make it through the obstacles that build your own character. We all need it!

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