Sunday afternoon I drove an hour to meet this family of 3 (soon to be 4) near Rowena Crest Viewpoint. It was cloudy in Portland and I was in a mood. About 20 minutes from the trailhead, the sun broke through the clouds and the temperature climbed. I put on some tunes and slowly tried to pull myself out of my unexplainable funk. I parked at the trailhead and waited to meet Mikaela, Michael and Kennedy. As they pulled up in their Jeep they were smiling and seemed excited. My troubles dissipated so quick I don’t even remember the transition.
These three hiked 3 miles with me, up and down switchbacks, with no complaints. I had underestimated the trek and immediately felt bad because Mikaela is carrying her second babe and due really soon. I kept thinking ‘I’m the jerk making a pregnant woman hike a mountain right now’. Despite my worry and apologies, these three truly didn’t care a bit. They were easy to talk to and I quickly fell into my happy place, capturing their unique family dynamic.
As I drove west, back to the city, I realized how much this job fulfills me and contributes positively to my mental health. It’s sometimes hard to kick a bad mood, especially the unexplainable ones. But this fam and this work that I do, made it easier than flipping a switch. As I said goodbye, I hugged them all pretty tight. Really feeling that gratitude, deep in my bones. Every family and every couple makes an impact on me and the work I create, more than they might ever know.