We definitely played hooky.

I let the kids sleep in and even gave in to their request for homemade waffles (not a normal weekday occurrence). We opted out of the zoo since it was a record 92 degrees (and, if you’ve ever been to the Cleveland Zoo, you know it feels about ten degrees hotter than everywhere else). Instead we packed a picnic lunch and drove out to South Chagrin Reservation, which was shady and, save for a few random souls walking their dogs, completely empty. Hiking on the actual trail was much too ordinary for my boys so we instead waded through the creek. For about two hours.

We studied bugs and minnows and salamanders. We worked our way through grassy moss and slippery rocks, up and down small waterfalls. We marveled at the difference in water temperature depending on which spots were sunny and which were shady. We listened to woodpeckers pecking and other unknown birds calling and tweeting and singing. We scrambled up rocks and climbed over ledges. We (well, they) fell at various moments in various slick spots soaking themselves up to their waists, Austin three times over without one word of complaint.


And we had an absolutely wonderful time, two kids in the woods with their momma. No school, no rules, no hospital, no scans, nothing whatsoever to worry about.