This . . .
. . . was a big deal.
A very, very big deal.
You see, my 9 year old had a crippling fear of fire. Nothing traumatic ever happened to her. She just had a bad dream one night and that was that. We weren't allowed to put candles on her birthday cake for years. Last camping trip, we roasted marshmallows over the little propane stove flame. I thought that was a big deal. Then. This time. My very big grown-up girl not only said ok to the campfire, but she actually sat outside with us. Just a few feet from it. I didn't have to do anything or try to fix her in any way. I just had to wait beside her, all these years, patiently, holding her hand until she was ready. I am in awe of the changes in her in just a few months. Growing up way too fast, I tell ya.
I am also in awe of the beautiful state we live in. Sometimes, I see photos of other areas (especially now, with all the gorgeous leaf color), and I'm a wee bit jealous. And then, we take a little trip, crunch through leaves in the woods, and sleep out under the stars and I remember just how wonderful this place is.
Even if I am still pulling ticks out of the dog.