The Grand Canyon was breathtaking; let me just start with that. It was well worth the time and energy of taking six kids, ages 2 to 16, across three states by myself. I was worried at first. Will someone get left at a gas station? Will someone fall into the canyon? Will one of my daughters mindlessly wander off while I am trying to keep my son off of any given visitor center display? Will someone (and this seems the most likely) fall to the ground in a complete tizzy fit and there will be nothing I can do because I will already be restraining at least one other child? I am given to worst case scenarios, but I tried to stay positive and I can say that none of the above happened on the whole trip. So no matter what else went wrong, I am calling this a win!
I always see the world in two categories: the places that are real to me because I have seen them with my own eyes, and the places that are hearsay. Places just don’t seem real to me until I can experience them myself. As we left the comforting familiarity of Las Vegas (a place we have been to so often, we have a favorite grocery store) and drove out onto a stretch of road I had never been on before. I was excited to see new things and scared that I wouldn’t be able to handle the unknown with my kids. Again, there were no major issues (see above) and we made it to the Grand Canyon. This was the off-season so some of the campgrounds were closed and we were assured that there was very few people there. Even with that, all of the general parking lots were full and it was by chance (or providence, a lot of prayers were said) that we found a space. If this is the off-season I can’t even imagine what you would do If you arrived in the middle of July. You would have to be shuttled from miles away just to get into the park, if you were lucky.
At the actual rim of the canyon the guard rails are so elaborate (thank goodness) that you would have to really try to jump in and even then you would have to be a great deal taller than my 2 year old son. I was surprised by how much it looked like a painting. I was there and I could clearly see it, but the canyon, especially the part that was farthest away just looked like an elaborate painting. The girlies were all terribly impressed, the twins were completely unimpressed, just as I assumed would be the case.
We hiked around, had snacks, and as we were leaving we took one last look. This was now part of our world, no longer hearsay but something that would always be real to us. Oh, and I had successfully navigated the trip a lone adult with 6 kids. Go me!