Kid Friendly Hiking

(I wrote this 5 days ago, and as is my custom, thought “I will post this after I proofread it in a few minutes…” Yep.  5 days ago.)

I’ve missed you all!  Right now I am sitting in bed, all nice and clean, rehydrating and keeping my feet up.  I’m pretty sure I am going to lose a toenail because my feet apparently think that a 4.8 (actually 7.5 — and we didn’t even get lost!) mile, kid-friendly hike is equivalent to a marathon.

We’ve had a lot of shit going on lately but things are getting a lot better than ever.  With all the crazy family drama going on (outside our little nuclear family), we’ve become so much closer with each other within our little nuclear family and have been getting to see my 16 year old step-daughter a lot more than before.  We were going to go camping “in the wild” per the 6 year old’s request yesterday but with a chance of bad storms in the forecast, we decided that for a first time camping trip, we would camp in the backyard, so we could escape to the house if storms hit.  The tents were set up and ready just in time for the storms, so the sweet older sister suggested camping in the living room.  (She did, the little sister wound up in our bed.) So, we decided that we would go for a hike today.  We did some research and found a kid-friendly hike that was a moderate 4.8 miles and had 2 waterfalls.  Little G (6 year old) is pretty tough and has been on several pretty long hikes, so we figured it would be fun, even if it was hot.

Apparently, the travel guide writer doesn’t have kids — or know any– because there were tears and sore legs and tired tiny bodies and dehydration (due to a miscommunication about who was bringing how much water) and a very tiny waterfall due to the dry season.  We were all salty at different times, literally and figuratively (if you don’t have a teenager around to keep you up to speed, “salty” means cranky or testy or whatever we old people call it).  And I’ll soon get to see if G takes after her parents or if she gets poison ivy — the trails were COVERED! (Edit: She apparently doesn’t!  At least not this time!)

But — there is always a but — it was great.  Don’t get me wrong, I am freaking exhausted and I am going to be sore as hell tomorrow and there were A LOT of tears and scraped knees and whining and headaches.  But I learned that horse fly bites don’t hurt nearly as much as I remembered from childhood.  I got to tell G all about how awesome it was growing up with 45 acres of woods, 6 ponds and a lot of time unsupervised and about the times when we all got to swing on grapevines in the woods with her Pappy. The scenery was beautiful and it didn’t rain.  I watched G power through a really hard hike, I saw her sister be patient and wait while we dried tears, and I was reminded again how amazing my husband is (gentle and optimistic and adventurous and strong).

We all learned a lot about enjoying the journey, not just rushing to get to a destination.  We learned that we are tougher than we think.  And we learned that we don’t give up when something is hard.  (G was learning these lessons for the first time, but it never hurts for the rest of us, even Ironmen, to be reminded!)

On the way home, we were discussing the hike with the most appropriate cliches we could think of.  I was pretty proud of my “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, but J won with his “sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the bug”.  G thought that “today we were all bugs and that hike was the windshield.” But I’m not so sure.  I think that hike was just one adventure of many in this big crazy roller coaster we call life.  And I can’t wait to see what’s next.  Just because something is hard doesn’t mean we can’t or shouldn’t do it!  Just ask a 6 year old who has already recovered from her most recent adventure.