Life, Outdoors, With Kids

Not Without You

September 3, 2016


My three year old is now four. It’s bittersweet, as anyone with a three year old can tell you. On one hand, my baby is getting older and bigger. On the other hand, three year olds kind of suck.

She has a funny phrase she likes to say to me: “Not without you.” Sometimes it’s the most annoying thing in the world, but mostly it just melts my heart. It goes like this:

“Get in the bath.”

“Not without you.”

“Go potty before we leave.”

“Not without you.”

“Get back in bed.”

“Not without you.”

And so on and so forth.

Last night she woke up and found me in the living room, reading about the Grand Canyon. By now hopefully you’ve heard of the Grand Canyon Escalade, a project to develop the Grand Canyon with a tram and other businesses. It would, of course, bring much needed income to the Navajo Nation, but less than what they deserve for such a trade–less than 20% of the revenue will go to the tribe. The rest goes to the developers. You can read the full bill here. This isn’t the first time the Grand Canyon was under attack, and it won’t be the last (here’s another rather depressing article for you).

The Grand Canyon is one of those special trips I keep thinking about, but haven’t yet pulled the trigger. I want my kids to be old enough to truly experience it (and by that I mean actually hike, not just view it from the parking lot), but not so old that they don’t want to hang out with me anymore. My seven year old is probably the right age, but my now four year old isn’t quite there yet. Also, she’s a bolter, and that’s terrifying. In a couple years, she’ll be ready.

But will the Grand Canyon still be the Grand Canyon? Or will it be a hole in the ground with a theme park?

Evelyn looked at the pictures over my shoulder with sleepy eyes. “Are you going there, Mommy?” she asked.

“Not without you,” I said.

I hope it’s the truth.

The comment period on the Grand Canyon Escalade project ends today. To let your voice be heard, visit Save the Confluence, where you can sign a petition or email the Navajo Nation, or both. Preferably both. I hope we can preserve the wildness of our national parks. We can; I know it.

But not without you.




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  • Reply Kelly September 3, 2016 at 10:30 am

    Dammit. Now I’m crying.

    • Reply Lynn September 3, 2016 at 10:32 am

      The thought of developing the Grand Canyon (with this proposal, I mean–not all development is terrible) makes me want to cry, too.

  • Reply Sophie Preston September 5, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    While I’m living in America the Grand Canyon is high up on my travel bucket list. Beautiful post and ‘not without you’ truly is heart melting! – Sophie x

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