I took Violet to Zoar Valley today. I’ve taken her on plenty of hikes before, with and without other people, but this was the first time I’ve taken her to a spot where the remoteness weighed on my mind the farther we hiked from the car. On the drive there, I imagined us blissfully hiking along the creek, playing in the waterfalls, sitting under the old trees. We did all those things, and I enjoyed every minute of it, but my mind insisted on imagining what might happen if I tripped over a log and bashed my head on a rock.
Some time ago, my cousin said that once she had children, she kept finding herself imagining all the horrible things other people might do to them. I do that – imagining what other people might do to Violet, but I imagine all the horrible things I might accidentally do to her, too. Maybe it’s for the best. I’m not going to let it prevent me from taking Violet to beautifully remote places, but it will make me slow down and step more carefully whenever she is with me.