Cool Mountain Air

Piper hiked to her first waterfall today. It was a little more than a mile up an incline. She was brave and tough the whole way. Every step came with a new challenge.

“Mom, can I run ahead?”

“Yes, with your Sissy or a cousin.”

“Mom, can I climb the rocks, too?”

“They’re slippery. Be careful.”

Then came the big one.

“I don’t want to just look at it,” Piper said. “I want to go in the waterfall!”

Of course you do. But it’s dangerous. And I’m scared you’ll get hurt. “Promise you’ll hold my hand?” I compromised, taking her hand in mine. I held on tight, but not too tight.

Together, with the help of an aunt, an uncle, and four cousins, we took Piper down to the base of this:

When we reached the pools of clear water, Piper peeled off her shoes and socks and went in. “Ah! Cool mountain water!” she yelled over the rush of the falls. She sounded like a commercial for the tourism board. She splashed with delight. She dipped her feet deeper. Then she stuck her head in.

As we climbed out of the waterfall, Piper was pretty proud of herself. So was I. She stopped at the base of the mountain and took a deep breath. “Ah! Cool mountain air!” she proclaimed. And it was.

O Street Mansion Madness

Sometimes, when you’re a Piper that is, your parents drag you along on their adventures. They don’t know where they’re going exactly, but they have the whole day free and the sun is shining and life is grand. So, somebody’s sister’s hairdresser’s cousin told them about this mansion in Dupont Circle where you can roam through 4 connected row houses with 20 secret passages and they don’t even know if it exists but they’re willing to try because it does sound magical, even if only half of it’s true. And because you’re a Piper, you say yes, too, because it’s in your blood. You skip down the cobblestone streets petting every dog along the way. You play along in the “If I had ten million dollars, that would be my house” game that everyone plays in Dupont Circle. You munch on a pile of naan bread because that is what you’re addicted to these days. Your parents find the address, but there is no real sign so they barge inside immediately, assuming the lack of welcome is another part of the intrigue. They’re right. You wander from room to room opening mirrors that lead to more rooms and pushing on bookcases that reveal secret passages. Every surface is covered in treasures. It’s surreal and you’re pretty sure you’ve stepped into a Scooby Doo haunted mansion episode. So, then you find fancy hats in one of the guest suites and of course, you try them all on.

Because you’re a Piper, you jump right in to the fun and make even more.

The next room over you stumble upon a motley collection of musicians who put a guitar in your daddy’s hand and he says yes, too.

And the adventure continues because you’re a Piper and you don’t just put your toe in to the test the water, you cannon ball into the middle of the pool. Always.