On this trip to Utah, he has gone to the temple for the first time and been baptized for three of his grandmother’s brothers. The boy has turned 12 and been ordained a deacon. Now, he is with his brother, sister, and father near the amphitheater at Aspen Grove. They have returned from the short hike to Stewart Falls.
From the trail, they can gaze straight down a steep slope to the amphitheater.
“Stephen and I are gonna go down. Is that cool?”
They move off the trail and onto the slope. They spend part of the time sliding through the dirt on their butts and another part of the time picking through pine and aspen roots for the best footing. Soon, they are at the old, broken benches, then down to the theater itself. They pretend the stone theater is a fort, and they play a war game.
About twenty minutes later, their father and sister arrive, hand in hand. Dad is smiling broadly.
“Get a load of your sister just now.”
“I don’t see what’s so funny,” she says.
“We left the trail, too, and in the steepest parts, your sister would grab my hand and push me forward. Finally, I asked her why she kept doing that. And she said, ‘How old are you again?’ I said, ‘Forty.’ She said, ‘Well, I’m eight. The way I figure it, your life is mostly over, and mine is just beginning. So if one of us is going to fall and die on this mountain, it should be you.’”
“It makes sense, right?”