Yesterday my three kids and I had an adventure walking and climbing around Ficklen Island, in Fredericksburg. It’s a small brushy, rocky piece of land in the Rappahannock River, separated from the shore only by a creek and the remains of an old mill. To reach it, you have to walk across a narrow dam. Once on the island you can walk on a few narrow paths and climb on big rocks. One end of the island is very rocky; the other has a sandy beach. The river rapids roar, blocking out city sounds, making us feel far away.
When I discovered this place during one of my Saturday morning walks along the river a couple of years ago I knew it would be a fun place to bring the kids, but the walk across the narrow dam scared me off from that idea back then. I imagined my wild, wiggly son falling into the creek. He’s still wild and wiggly, but much more capable of being careful today, so I didn’t worry much yesterday. He walked slowly across the dam, with me right behind him, offering my hand, which he refused.
As we explored the island, I marveled over how my kids have grown and felt very grateful for the adventures we have together.
Look how much they’ve grown. In the first photo, taken in December 2006, they’re 5.5, just turned 3, and 1 month. I took the second photo on Ficklen Island yesterday.