C jr has elected to celebrate her birthday in the wilderness and brought two friends eager to experience piercingly clean air.

There has been a bit of hiking, some hatcheting of kindling, some axe-ing of wood, and hill climbing. The kids blow on the fire. The dog watches through one eye, exhausted from attention.

C plays the guitar. We’re all stuffed from burgers and Doritos.

They’re planning on sleeping outside tonight, the three of them jammed into a two-man tent. Well, they’ll be warm, I say.

Still, all three of these kids holds on to a childlike point of view. Still, they have innocence in their back pockets. But they laugh at dark humor and wrestle like Greco-Romans.

Once, I asked C jr if any of her friends were into the whole dating thing yet. Oh yes, she said, matter-of-factly. Oh? I asked, assuming I would hear little stories about crushes, unrequited love, etc..

Yeah, one of my friends broke up with his girlfriend and he’s been cutting, C jr said.

I didn’t blink for a bit.

When I was their age, I was impatient to be an adult because I had no idea what that really meant. None of these kids seems to be in any hurry, and in their wisdom, they’re creating memories that will not haunt them.

Happy Birthday, C jr. Please continue to take your time.