One beautiful Sunday morning, before going to church, my husband politely asked me if I wanted to join him, our 9 year old son Tyler, and Tyler’s friend Chase in an afternoon of riding ATV’s in the woods after church. Of course I was reluctant to accept since visions of unfinished laundry and household chores started to appear in my head. Even though laundry is not my favorite chore, I did like the thought of being at home with no one else running through the house; just me and some good old peace and quiet! The boys told me they had seen a lot of really big spiders at their favorite riding spot the last time they had gone riding. Let’s see, spend quiet time doing the laundry? Or spend time with the boys riding through the woods where really BIG SPIDERS, SNAKES, and lots of other INTIMIDATING CREATURES live? It didn’t seem to be a tough decision. I would just stay home and have a nice quiet day to myself. But then I started thinking about all the time my husband Marc had been spending with Tyler lately. I had the feeling like I had not been spending enough quality time with either of them. I started to envision my son all grown up, talking about what a really cool dad he had and how they spent so much time together. I was imagining how he would be telling his friends how his mom never wanted to do anything cool like riding in the woods. Suddenly, the spiders and snakes became the challenge of the day! Forget the laundry! Look out creepy crawly creatures of the wild outdoors, I’m going to be a cool 4 wheelin mom today!
So, we loaded up the trailer with all kinds of mud riding gear and planned for a day of riding in the woods. Before I ventured out into this unknown wild and scary spider happy territory, I was adamant in getting my husband to give me a pair of his army pants. You know, the kind that have the ties on the bottom that can be fastened securely around your ankles to ensure the little varmints of the wild stay far, far away from my legs? Just the thought of a spider crawling up my leg gives me a mild heart attack! I then proceeded to figure out what type of long sleeved shirt I could wear that would not allow a spider to drop in on the upper half. I truly would have dressed like an Eskimo if the sunny Florida weather had not deterred me from covering every inch of my body in clothing! After all, wouldn’t I rather suffer from heat exhaustion rather than have a fight with a creepy crawly that has somehow found its way to my bare skin in which I would proceed to frantically remove every piece of clothing until I got to it? This would cause me nightmares for the rest of my life! Reluctantly, I decided on a short sleeve shirt with a long sleeve jacket as a back up just in case I saw more creepy crawlies than expected.
Once we arrived to our wooded destination, I proceeded to have the boys do a perimeter check for any furry creatures that would instantly be an un=welcomed visitor. “All clear!” my son’s friend Chase said. Hey, maybe this is not so bad after all! Although doing laundry is a lot safer of an environment than venturing into the wooded unknown!
OK, now for the ride. Now cool mom has to wear this really heavy motorcycle helmet while bouncing around on a 4 wheeler trying to keep up with the ever so confident boys on their motorbikes through trails of all kinds of twists and turns. And keep up with them I did! At one point, I think my head suffered a minor concussion from the helmet beating my head from all the bouncing while impressing my all-terrain friends. This is not so bad I keep telling myself! I can do this! Why am I here I keep asking myself? Oh yeah, creating great memories with my husband and son! That’s it, keep telling yourself this, and you will eventually convince yourself you have overcome your fear of spiders!
Once I got my motocross momma riding legs going we were all over the trails, through the woods and through the sand and mud. At one point we saw 4 deer and some birds dart right in front of our path. It was really awesome! O.K. somehow, this doesn’t seem so bad after all! I think I’m starting to like this! While we continued to ride Marc gave me a thumbs up and I could see the really big smile on his face as if he had died and gone to heaven. I didn’t know that dirt bike riding in the woods with his family would make him so happy! Tyler and Chase were having a ball too. It’s amazing how something so little as spending time riding in the woods together can make these boys so happy!
Once we finished our ride I had gotten a little braver and decided to walk around looking for photo opportunities as if I were all of a sudden no longer concerned of the creepy crawlies that lurked in the bushes and trees. I didn’t see anything of interest in the wild so I decided to take pictures of Tyler and Chase. We were standing along a sandy bank next to a stream. As usual, they love playing in sand and being boys they had decided to fill their hands full of sand. I stopped them and told them to count to three and then throw the sand up in the air over this little stream where we were standing. So, at the count of three they proceeded to throw the sand way up in the air and I snapped the picture. For some reason I had delayed in taking the picture but when it snapped, the picture took on a shape of its own. I looked at the picture and could not believe my eyes! It looked just like an angel! I called the boys to come and take a look. They could not believe the picture either! It looked just like they were standing right in front of an angel! I called Marc over and he could not believe it either! We had decided to try a few more times to see if we would get more of the same picture. After lots of sand throwing and picture taking I suddenly realized I was having way more fun then I had anticipated. I mean where else can you go thinking you are going to be fighting off creatures of the wild and find an angel instead?
I wonder if angels are scared of spiders and snakes? Probably not, however, my three angels, Marc, Tyler, & Chase have helped me to see the fun in the great outdoors and to leave the spiders and snakes to themselves. Never again will I turn down a motocross ride in the wonderful woods that God has created for us to enjoy. God sent me an angel to tell me just that!