I spent much of my childhood at Kelsey Creek park. As a kid it seemed like a piece of the country brought right to my backyard – literally, as the greenbelt runs straight from my dad’s house to the back fields. Even now, it seems like downtown Bellevue could hardly be just an arm’s length away.

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On Tuesday afternoons my mom, aka Bette, takes riding lessons there. Watching today, I was fascinated by how much the horses just sense. Taking a deep breath and relaxing tells them you want to slow down. Standing beside them + guiding them, they will walk where you look. Such beautiful, intuitive creatures.

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The last time I was at the park was for a family picnic on Saturday, September 20, 2008. Damien and I were married the following day. With my aunts, cousins, uncle, parents, and siblings we gathered in grey weather for the quiet time we knew the wedding itself would lack. Prior to that, I hadn’t been there in years.

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It’s fascinating to revisit a space you once knew like the back of your hand, but through the new lens of adulthood. Things don’t always hold up very well; I can happily say that Kelsey Creek did.

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Time also re-envisions your connections to your family, especially your parents. As someone’s child, it’s amazing to have a friendship with them, to share in the things that bring them joy. To know them as a person, not just as caretaker, authority figure, laundry do-er. Close friends have probably already heard that my sweet baby sister is heading off to college next week at the ripe old age of 16. Mom has a lot on her hands, preparing + equipping Caitlin for this next adventure. It was beautiful to see her have an afternoon that belonged just to Bette.

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Thank you, Mom, for the kind of childhood that one looks back on in golden glowing terms. Thank you for the years of patience it surely took to help me become the person I am now. Thank you for a dream wedding + all the help you gave. Thank you for being my friend as well as my mother.

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