"Hiking" with kids has been one of the classic between a rock and a hard place parenting attempts for us. Both Bryce and I like to hike, but we tend to go for shorter hikes with a destination in mind. I'm one of those hikers that doesn't really stop to take pleasure in all the small things. I'm too busy trying to get to that waterfall, dammit! Hiking with kids who are able to move independently is a whole new lesson in patience.
Yes, that's a rock. Yes, it's brown.
Yep, that's a purple flower. Just like the 10 million purple flowers we've already stopped to look at.
Cole! Stay where I can see you!
No! Don't drink that water!
Yes, we could see animals....no, I don't think we'll see any lions...or giraffes...or horses....
Cole - back where I can see you!
I'll only hold you for a minute. Then you need to walk again.
And so on.
But this time was different. We drove 5 minutes from the new house to This is the Place and went on a short hike around the hills. The boys insisted on bringing their water guns, and I trailed behind with Jack as he sprayed EACH AND EVERY dandelion he saw with water. I felt myself tighten up and the impatience build. But then I remembered that we were 5 minutes from home and 10 minutes from the trail-head, and we could leave anytime we wanted. Suddenly, it just wasn't a big deal.
We probably only hiked half a mile total and it took us a good hour. But I didn't yell to anyone to hurry up. I call that a successful trip.