It was supposed to be 65 and sunny, so we thought we'd make a family day of it and go for a desert hike.
I found some amazing sounding hikes described here.
We planned on doing hike #4.
(Aaron and I hope to do #1 on our own first, and see if I can manage it with Davy on my back, and also if the kids are ready to do a slot canyon hike yet. It sounds really great--I'll let you know when we do it)
I was looking forward to the day.
Alas, Davy and Lilly were sick in the night and it didn't seem like a good idea to hike with a feverish baby, who'd alsobe dripping snot down my back the whole time.
I was kind of bummed.
But James went with Aaron.
And they had a really, really great time.
I'm so glad it worked out the way it did.
It would have been so different for him with all of us along--more chaotic and less relaxing--that's just the nature of doing anything with 4 young kids.
Instead, James got to soak in the environment, architecture, art, and even the food in a way that he really appreciates.
He got to spend the day with his Daddy, who understands him so well because they are so much alike.
They understand each other in a way no one else does.
He's an old soul, that 8 year old boy of mine.
And, no surprise, he's turning into a real mid century aficionado.
When they got home, I asked James if he liked Palm Springs.
"Oh Yeah!" he replied.
He loved the store that's selling Aaron's paintings, Just Modern, and told Aaron, "Just Modern is different than I imagined it would be. It's a really cool store."
Aaron took him to see this bank, a famous piece of mid century architecture in Palm Springs.
James was blown away and described it to me with great excitement.
He also loved the visitor center.
He loved seeing the snow on Mt. San Jacinto and was pretty sure that after about a 3 hour hike, he'd be in the snow.
The giant windmills intrigued him.
Yesterday he was still thinking about the trip.
"It was such a clear day in Palm Springs. We could see for miles. I still remember everything. I can just see it in my mind."
One of my favorite things about James is his love for discovery.
Whether he's learning a new idea, hearing a new story, or visiting a new place, he's always interested.
Because it was just he and Aaron, they could take their time and really spend time soaking in this place he'd never been before.
It was the perfect kind of day for James.
After delivering paintings, and driving around a bit admiring mid century architecture, my boys went to the ACE for lunch.
True to form, James wanted to check the whole place out.
He also wants to go back and stay.
"There are 2 pools there, Mom," he told me. "One is for parties and playing ping pong. And the other is just for relaxing. It's really cool."
He really appreciated all the interesting details at the ACE.
That boy is just like his Daddy.
This is my favorite picture of the day.
He's 8 right now, but looking at this picture I can see him at 20 or 40.
And also when he was an infant, eyes wide open, taking it all in.
Oh my James, I do love you so.
His review of the food and drink at The King's Highway:
"Mom, the ACE hotel has reeeally good chocolate milk."
Since I was missing out on the trip, I asked for a souvenir.
My men did not disappoint.
This may be my favorite photo booth strip of all time.
But there is also something pretty wonderful about watching them turn into real people, with their own thoughts and ideas, interests and the things that make them who they are.
When James was only a couple of months old, a checker at Trader Joe's looked at him and his eyes wide open take on the world.
"He has an artist soul. I can tell already," she said.
I think she was right.
How fortunate am I to be married to, and now mother to, such creative men.
It makes for a really interesting and beautiful life.
Happy days indeed!