Last year’s Halloween story was for all the new parents out there. This year’s is from a different perspective.
During our vacation this year, we visited a place called Ruby Falls in Tennessee. Ruby Falls is an underground waterfall deep underneath Lookout Mountain. When you go to visit, you start out with a long elevator ride down into the caves. Then you hike through the tunnels for a while until you reach the falls. The path along the way is lined with lighting to illuminate the rock formations.
Our guide was a guy named Ray, and he was pretty grumbly over the fact that there were only eight people in his group. I guess it was a slow day. In any case, he took us down the elevator, gave a little speech about how far down we were, and then headed out into the cave with us trailing along after him.
Remember I mentioned there was lighting to show the rock formations? The flipside of that targetted lighting is that it makes lots of strange shadows. The boys were fascinated and scared at the same time. N, in fact, wasn’t getting out of my arms no matter what I tried. C was doing better, but he was still staying close. We’d been in caves before, but not ones that you had to take an elevator to get down into.
After a little while, Ray stopped to give us his introductory speech. Why he didn’t give it earlier is anyone’s guess. It was a short little “welcome, don’t touch, please stay together” sort of thing. After he finished, he asked if there were any questions and then said “Okay, then. Stay close. You don’t want to get lost. Do you know what happened to the last people that got lost down here?”
We all looked at each other and decided that no, we didn’t.
He laughed. “Neither do we!”
There was some general chuckling among the adults. C, on the other hand, wasn’t having any of it. He stood as straight as he could, waving his arm in the air. Amazingly, Ray didn’t notice, but turned to continue walking.
Of course, that has never stopped either of my little guys. “Excuse me, Excuse me! Mr. Ray! Excuse me!”
That got Ray’s attention. He turned around. ”Yes, what is it?”
My little guy’s voice went from loud and determined to trembly and quiet. “Mr. Ray, if I… if I get lost, can I find my Mommy?”
Even though we reassured him, C spent the rest of the hike staying within about a foot of Mr. Ray.
Happy Halloween, everyone!