A couple of weekends ago we took the kids to see Boone’s Cave Park. I was a little hesitant at first because my friend Jennifer told me that we would need flashlights.
Ugh! The last thing I wanted to do was crawl around in a dark creepy cave. However, I could tell my husband really wanted to go. It was a beautiful fall Sunday afternoon and we didn’t have anything else that we absolutely had to do so I said, “Why not. Let’s go.”
My friend Jennifer is "the fun mom" (my son has already asked me why he can’t go live with them) and my husband often tells me that I’m too serious.
I am. I can’t help it.
In college, my friends used to call me The Voice of Reason. Oddly enough I was never offended by this nickname. I was quite proud of it! I like to think being The Voice of Reason kept us out of trouble but I’m sure my friends would say it kept us out of fun.
So, this one time I decided I wasn’t going to keep us from doing something fun. We put on our old jeans and sneakers and grabbed our flashlights. The park is less than 30 minutes from our house so we were there in no time. We parked and headed down the trail towards the cave.
Apparently Daniel Boone’s family moved to the banks of the Yadkin River in 1750. Legend has it that Daniel Boone used to hide from the Indians in the very cave that we were going to explore. I have to say that the thought of being in a cave that Daniel Boone was in was pretty exciting even to a boring old no-fun mommy like me. Although the serious practical side of me wondered how it could be possible that over 250 years later anyone would know if this was the exact cave or not.
We took the trail (which was a set of wooden steps that had been built going down the side of a large rock outcropping) and made it to the entrance of the cave. We had to stoop down to get into the cave. I’m not sure what I was expecting…maybe the Luray Caverns which I had visited before and was quite impressed by. I can assure you, this was no Luray Caverns but it was free and it was just the right size for a three and 4 year old.
My husband and the kids crawled into the cave and started going further in. I however stopped crawling because I could feel my chest tighten as thoughts of getting stuck in the cave crowded into my head.
I couldn’t do it. I didn’t go in.
It had nothing to do with the fact that it was dark, wet and dirty but everything to do with the fact that I have a touch of the claustrophobia. Sometimes I can’t even sit in the third row of my parent’s mini-van without feeling like a caged animal.
My kids didn’t seem to mind that I wasn’t going in and followed my husband into the cave about 100 feet until the opening was too small and they couldn’t continue any further. They turned around and came back happy as clams. The knees of their jeans were dirty and they were gabbing happily about the cave and how dark and spooky it was. I think they were disappointed that they didn’t see any bats. I was just really glad we took flashlights. All fun mommies know that you should always take a flashlight when you are going to explore a cave!
After the cave, we let the kids play for a little bit at the edge of the river. Then we decided to take a hike on one of the trails. The sign at the beginning of the trail said simply “Cottonwood Tree”. We walked about 20 minutes until we came to a giant Cottonwood tree. We “ohhhed” and “ahhhed” and turned around and headed back up the trail. It was only when we returned home and I did some research on the Internet that I discovered the tree at over 160 feet tall is the tallest Eastern Cottonwood tree in our state.
All in all it was quite a nice afternoon. The kids got to play in a dark and spooky cave and we all got some exercise. And I wasn’t the stick in the mud that I normally am! Maybe, just maybe, if I keep working at it, one of these days I will be “the fun mommy”.