I heard Carter before I saw him, his little voice carrying across the parking lot. He had seen me, and was calling to his mother to let her know that he knew where I was. His talkative personality shone through as they walked hand in hand toward me, and I knew we would have a good morning.
We walked across the bridge to the island and Carter chatted the whole way, reiminiscing with Beth about the time his dad lost his hat on the same bridge, then pointing out a big rock that looked like an alligator with his tail cut off in the water (it really did look like an alligator without a tail), and commenting on HOW FAR the walk was, and how the water here was the same water they had seen at the cabin in the mountains.
We got to Belle Isle and he ran immediately to the rocks that bordered the path. He had to avoid the hot lava, after all. Beth and I were safe because we had special shoes (whew!). We magically gave Carter his own special shoes so he could leave the safety of the rocks and head down the path toward the river with us.
We spent a good chunk of time near the river, where Carter proved to me just how much he has grown in the last year. Last year he wasn’t nearly as interested in having his picture taken, and we had a quiet session picking up acorns and collecting them for the squirrels. This year he was totally into it, starting when he marched up to Beth, handed her his toy Transformer and stationed himself in the ready position with a big CHEEESEEE smile. I snapped a few cheese shots and then started to ask him questions to get him moving. He responded immediately, his personality exploding through his animated gestures and expressions.
We played on the rocks, learned how slippery rocks near the water can be even if they aren’t wet, and didn’t fuss or cry when our feet got wet and our behinds got dirty. Carter was a real champ. He rung out his shoes, shook off the dirt, said, “that was maybe not a great idea” and then went on to the next adventure. Beth gets all the credit for not panicking, and played off the whole situation with grace and a laugh. We went on to find a sword in a stone, and climbed over the fallen logs near the shore before exploring more of the island.
We played for an hour before the morning’s adventures caught up with Carter and he was ready to be done with Ms Allison and her camera. To say that he was a champ really is an understatement though; he had so much positive energy, and spent it all getting the sweetest pictures for and with his mama. I can’t wait to show them the rest!
Beth and Carter, thank you again for spending the morning with me. It’s been amazing to watch Carter grow from 2014 to now and all the ways he has changed in the last 3 years. You guys are fantastic and I love our time together!
Ya’ll leave some love for Beth and Carter in the comments below!