Canada Day was quite fun. There was a very large parade in our small town. We were decked out in Canadian paraphernalia, from temporary tattoos to t-shirts to Dio's Canadian diapers. (For a tutorial on how to make the diapers or diaper covers, click here.) We celebrated the 4th of July as well, with a multilayered red, white, and blue jello. We sang lots of songs and discussed whether one can be patriotic without being nationalistic or falling into an us vs. them or an I'm better than you mentality.
We spent Thursday through Saturday at a family reunion with Eric's extended family. We all camped at a ranch in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies. There were about 100 people, kids running all over the place. None of us got much sleep, but that's temporary. We went up into the mountains on Friday and hiked up a narrow canyon that has a very fast and very cold stream running through it. Most of the time you have to hike and climb in the stream itself, the canyon walls are so narrow I took Dio with me in the Fauxhawk I made last year. He slept almost the whole time and was a real trooper. Eric's youngest brother hiked with some friends quite a bit farther than the rest of us, until they saw a black bear in the canyon, upstream. They turned around stat! Next we went to a secluded place on a big river. The kids played in a small inlet where the water was tolerable. They made sand castles and mud castles and threw rocks into the water. Some of the adults (me included) were insane enough to swim in the river itself, which was just above freezing. I knew that if I didn't go in, I'd wish I had. And when will I be back here next? Eric swam, too, but he had a wetsuit so he was able to go in more than once. He brought his snorkeling gear and saw lots of big fish.
We had a terrible scare yesterday morning. I was sitting on a couch nursing Dio and Zari was running around with her cousins, getting ready for the kid's races and games. About 10-15 minutes later, Eric came in and asked where Zari was. He couldn't find her anywhere inside the building or on the grounds. We started gathering people to search for her father afield: down the roads, around the horse pond. Finally we got almost everyone looking for her. If you've ever lost your child, you know that feeling of sheer terror when you realize you don't know where they are and, worse, if they are still alive.
Finally we heard a shout that she'd been found. One of Eric's brothers had walked over the big hill (off to the right of this picture) and saw a tiny purple speck way down the road. He almost didn't keep going, thinking it was just a fence post or something, but thankfully he did. It was Zari, standing in a driveway, sobbing hysterically. She had snot running down her face and she had peed her pants. (This picture was taken before she got lost, when the adults were running a 3K race).
We've been talking a lot about how she got lost, how it made us scared and sad, and how she should tell us if she wants to go on a walk. I can't figure out why she left in the first place--it's not characteristic of her to go off alone. The only thing I can get out of her without any prompting is "I stopped walking." I'm glad she did.