This is the passenger seat of our rental car. It's where my husband would be sitting if we were going up this ten thousand foot volcano like average tourists.

This is a nine thousand foot cliff, a mere eight minutes from our final destination according to Siri.

And this is the pull out I’ve been desperately looking for ever since I made the decision to prioritize my babies screaming hungry wails over my screaming bowels.

This is the parking lot, goddamn it where is a parking spot! I recognize that building over there. There must be the bathroom, “kids get ready!”

This is the filthy corner of the family restroom where I had my son sit so he could hold the baby while I went cheeks to stainless.

This is a one hundred bazillion year old volcano – ish.

This is a trail up a cinder cone that looks like it goes up to an overlook of some kind. It also overlooks the road we came in on in the parking lot and this is my son hand waving wildly as his daddy summits by bicycle the same road we drove up.

And there he goes up somewhere else. I hope he is coming back soon.

These are my two hundred and fifty dollars sunglasses on the face of my four year old because he insists on smashing together volcanic rock into stone tools while we wait.

These are my husband’s cycling shoes crunching the rocks as he leads us up the trail to the overlook. He forgot to put his running shoes in the car that we drove up here for him.

And this is this sweat, white encrusted on his skin, and laced through his black cycling shorts.

This is my hand shielding a bald head of my baby from the blistering sun.

As we climb, thirty-four daggers in my spine, holding her body close to mind as she sleeps.

This is my son hurling a rock into the red and orange and yellow guts of a volcano from the top of the world.

And this is me, ignoring the pain, forgetting the fear, separating from the strain.

Leaving it all for another time.

Another time when I won’t be missing a moment. 


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Allyson Ely