Checking Facebook this morning, I saw several status about St.Patrick’s day. I even liked some of them. As soon as I closed the window, I forgot it was St. Patrick’s Day.

Before I had kids, I never spent March 17th doing wild and crazy things. First, in high school, how wild and crazy can you really get? Just make sure you have some green on to avoid being pinched all day and you’re good! In college, spring midterms were always around this time. Since I went to college on a large academic scholarship, it was in my best interest to pass my midterms. Amazing, right?

I don’t regret not having any insane Paddy’s day stories. I’m content. Despite that, it really came as a shock to me at around 3:00pm this afternoon when I saw a family dressed in shamrock covered shirts. That was when it really dawned on me; it was a holiday! It was St. Patrick’s Day! And, to my dismay, I wasn’t wearing anything green. I spoke that thought out loud and my husband thoughtfully pinched me. He’s a keeper. 🙂

Instead of trying to plan something cute for St.Patrick’s day, I ended up ignoring it completely. Thanks to the gorgeous weather, my family and I made plans to check out Sweet Water Creek State Park. We packed a picnic lunch (okay, I packed the lunch), managed to get everyone dressed, and headed out the door.

I’m handling the stairs, Ma. Don’t worry ’bout me.

   The first leg of the trip took longer than usual. Smushy boy has discovered he can back down the stairs. He rounds the corner and instantly drops to his knees and crawls backwards the remaining 3 feet or so to the stairs. We haven’t been able to convince him this isn’t necessary yet. This whole stairs thing is still a work in progress.

Fallen Tree; photo by Diva

We arrived, drove around the parking lot 3 times before finding a spot, and began our trek into the wilderness. Hubby was carrying the pack with the camera, so we have no pictures from the first leg of the trip. But, this is basically what we saw. After about a mile, we began to hear water. This caused Diva to run downhill. That resulted in a spectacular fall that created a scrapped knee. She survived. Being told she could touch the water had amazing healing properties.

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This factory was build in 1849. It was destroyed during the Civil War because it processed cotton for the Confederacy.

Georgia is rich in history, especially Civil War history. Since elementary school, I’ve always loved learning about the past, the people who lived then, and how events that took place hundreds of years ago affect us today. Standing next to this factory and looking at brick and mortar that is 164 years old is humbling. Reading about the men, women, and children who worked and live near here makes the ruins become more personal.

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This used to be a reservoir of sorts. The water would flow beneath the arch.
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Scorched brick.

With two young children, there’s not a lot of time to stare and daydream about old factory ruins. Especially when a gorgeous creek runs next to said ruins!  We walked along the creek, climbed on rocks, and touched the freezing water. I try to teach Diva little things when we go on walks like this. The rocks had spots of algae, so I made sure to point it out to her and explain that it was very slippery. I warned her we had to climb slowly and carefully over the rocks and try to avoid the algae so we don’t slip and fall down in the water. Ironically, after explaining all this to her, Hubby slipped on some algae and almost fell into the creek. I mentally thanked him for proving my point. 😉

Enjoying the mini waterfall.
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Touching the water; her favorite part by far.
Getting her to look at the camera was not easy!
Getting her to look at the camera was not easy!
I love the sound of the creek.
I love the sound of the creek.
Trying to explain that we wanted to touch the water with our hands, not our feet.
Trying to explain that we wanted to touch the water with our hands, not our feet.
Girl got to carry the camera on the way back.
Girl got to carry the camera on the way back.
She's still learning how to take pictures of people and walk at the same time. :)
She’s still learning how to take pictures of people and walk at the same time. 🙂

We grabbed our lunch and settled by the Visitor’s Center. The kids scarfed down their lunch and then ran off excess energy. I really don’t know how they even had any excess energy! After Hubby and I finished eating, which takes longer when you have to dart after your toddler who decides climbing up on top of the wall is thrilling, all of us trekked inside and looked at artifacts, stuffed animals, and the gift shop.

Diva asked a question and I found myself trying to explain the Civil War to an almost 5 year old. I ended up keeping it short and sweet: “Two different groups were fighting. The Union came and burned down the factory because it was helping the other side, the Confederacy.”

Even explaining that brought a wave of sorrow. She is still innocently protected. She doesn’t know about slavery, war, or how people can hate with blind rage. She doesn’t know about WWI, WWII, or other historical atrocities. As much as I wish I could stuff her in a bubble and keep her safe, I know I can’t. I can’t pull a Mother Gothel and lock her in a tower even though I’m sure her Daddy will attempt to when she gets old enough to start dating.

Until then, I’m going to enjoy her. I’m going to enjoy Smushy. We’ll keep going to parks and talk about moss, leaves, and animals. I’ll point out frog eggs and they will eagerly try to find the frog that must be nearby.  We will laugh and throw rocks into creeks. For that, I am forever grateful.


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