Saturday was beautiful! It was in the 50's by 9:30. So I decided to brave the mountains with my kids. Just my kids and I. No hubs. Outnumbered.
Now. We had tried this once before. It was a winter day. It was cold. But it was sunny. And we desperately needed to get out of the house and get some fresh air. I put their boots on and talked up the hike. We were ready to go. Until we got there. And the path was covered in snow and ice. I had brilliantly thought that since both kids can walk, that they both could hike as well. This was terribly wrong. Having never actually used her feet to hike before, only daddy's back, Brooklyn did not know what to do. Jackson was thrilled at the freedom of not being strapped to anyone and only wanted to sit down and eat snow. As I encouraged them onward, Brooklyn became more and more of a disaster. The snow was deep, the hills were steep, and J was having a very hard time walking in the snow.
With Brooklyn slipping and Jackson sitting I said 'Let's go or we are going home!' Brooklyn promptly replied in her best whiny/verge of crying voice 'NO! Let's hike!' So we trudged onward a bit more.
It didn't take us too long to turn around and head back to the car with B crying the whole way 'NO go home! I want hike!'
Some reflection that afternoon gave me the insight that I needed. One of them needs to be on my back. It's the only way it will work.
So on Saturday, we tried again. Jackson on my back. Brooklyn with her 'hiking' (snow) boots on. Bright blue sunny skies. Warm air. Rushing river. Mostly dry path, some mud and some snow. As we got out of the car J said 'WAAA WEEEEE!!!!!' (note: he rarely SAYS anything. It is mostly all yelled) so hand him his sippy. He drinks, and then holds onto his cup. It' like a security thing. He walks around the house and the yard holding on to his cups for dear life. I resigned myself to the fact that I would end up carrying the cup through most if not all of the hike. It was a price I was willing to pay.
The trail we took has a suspension bridge over the river at the very beginning. B was feeling afraid as she rocked back and forth with each step. I was concentrating on helping her and I could feel it as it happened, but was not able to stop it: the cup went over the bridge into the water. And we watched it, helpless to do anything but that, float down the river and get stuck in-between a couple of rocks. Brooklyn screamed like it was her life that was floating down. She insisted that we do something! Nothing to do but carry on. So we walked on. She hiked up the first snow covered hill and did awesome. We got to a dry patch and we were rocking it. A few snow patches later and she started having a hard time, so I held her hand. And then I held her. Half way around our mile loop we stopped to climb on rocks. I let J get down and we climbed up and slid down. Climbed and slid. Climbed and slid.
We finished our hike with B on my back and J walking. Stopping to chuck every rock he could into the river below.
I kept encouraging them. I was so proud of how well they were doing. I told B she was doing a great job and was a great hiker. She said 'yeah, but hiking is hard!'
They were exhausted and starving when we got back and it was so worth it!
Unfortunately, it is snowing here again and we will have to wait a few days to try again but I am so excited for this summer and the adventures it will bring us. Hiking, camping, swimming in the river, teaching our kids to love being outside. And I can't wait to tell you all about it!