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  • We pile out of the car onto the hot, red rocks of the desert. A short ways away I can see a large rocky outcropping and the dark maw of a cave opening just below it. Ours is not the only family doing a tour of the amazing rock formations found in the Southwest of the US. Several other families doing the long road-trip circuit are also heading in the direction of the caves with varying levels of enthusiasm.

    I dash away towards the cave but stop when my mom yells not to get too far ahead. I bounce and jitter in place, looking back at my parents carting my younger brother over the rocks. He is only three and some of the rocks we are walking on are almost as big as he is.

    I decide to make a game of it if they are going to be slow, and hop from rock to rock, trying to always find a bigger one to jump to. I am doing quite well, and gaining confidence with every majestic leap. Standing tall upon my latest conquest I turn to my father and shout "Look Dad! I'm sure-footed like a mountain goat!"

    I prepare to leap to my next target, full of joy and determination, but not much coordination. My foot slips, and I drop out of sight behind the boulder I was standing on with a yelp.

    Ever since, whenever I am feeling overly full of myself or have a none-too-bright idea, my dad has always replied with "Sure thing, Surefoot."
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