I grew up south of the Quad Cities, an area that surrounds a part of the Mississippi river where it travels east and west. One side consists of towns of Iowa. The other side are towns of Illinois. My parents live on the Illinois side.
When I was teenager I often drove down to the river and spent time walking along the shore. The river is powerful. Water is powerful. When you live near a significant body of water it becomes part of you.
So, while home, I had this brilliant idea.
Friday morning before visiting my grandmother I told Ryan (my 17 year old) that I was going to take him down to the Mississippi so I could get some river water for Maggie (my 11 year old daughter) to show to her class. Many in her small country classroom have never seen the Mississippi.
Friday was very very windy and cold. The river was choppy, dangerous looking, but I had to get that water.
With water bottle in hand I begin to walk down the rocks to the river's edge.
"Mom, let me do it," Ryan says. "I don't want you to fall."
(Unfortunately I knew he was right. It is quite humbling when your children have begun to worry about you falling!)
He takes the bottle from me. I am praying he doesn't fall in. The rocks are slippery and the river is scary.
I take a couple of pictures so the kids will know that the water is really Mississippi water and not tap water.
He gets the water and we rush to the car. The wind is biting and cold.
I can't wait to show Maggie the water. She is going to be so excited and thrilled with this. I can see her standing in front of her class proudly showing the jar of Mississippi Water.
After visiting Grandma we get back to Mom's house. Maggie, Cheyenne, Ryan and I get in the car. We're heading for the mall. As I drive I proudly hold up the bottle.
"Look Maggie. We got you some Mississippi Water to show to your class Monday."
I am beaming. She is going to think this is so cool.
There is silence.
Maybe Maggie is overcome with emotion.
Maybe she is so touched by the time it took to get this water.
I look at her in the rear view mirror. She doesn't look happy.
"Mom," she finally says. "That is weird. They'll think it's water from the sink.I'm not doing that."
I guess she really is an official pre-teen who has teenager tendencies....this too shall pass.