Between Big Brother’s Cat in the Hat and our Doctor Who, there’s been lots of talk of adventures coming from the fictional characters in our house. The underlying message from both of these shows that have taken up residence in our house is “Go on an adventure. See what you can see. Meet who you can meet. Learn something new.”
I love this message for my kids. For me, it’s kind of a challenge. I joke that my life has a 10 mile radius…but it’s true. My kids hate being taken in and out of their car seats, so I still stick to one outing a day like I did when they were newborns. They are also prone to falling asleep in the car and therefore not napping in their beds, so anything beyond 20 minutes is out of the question.
So all this talk of “adventuring” coming from the TV has me itching all over as though I have the chicken pox. I don’t have a regular job anymore so I should be able to go anywhere and I do anything I want…right?
Well, except for nap schedules and gas money.
But last week, a baby shower brought me out to the not-so-boondocks of Geneva and along the way I passed a sign declaring the location of the Little Big Econ State Forest. A forest? I love forests! I grew up hiking for a vacation and this is Florida so it’s not like it could be too strenuous. I looked up a trail the next day and set a date.
I pulled out the rusty carrier I got when Big Brother was born (Little Brother didn’t like the expensive one my friend lent us). I tried it on (by myself!) and was ready to go. Then, I took a chance and asked my dad to play hooky and – can you believe it? – he was free! Huzzah! We went adventuring on a Tuesday!
And it was amazing. Sure, it was raining on the way there at 8 a.m., but I was undaunted. We were dressed, fed (pretty much) and in the car at 8 a.m. It would take a hurricane to stop me.
One great thing about hiking in the forest is the trees. They soften the blow of the rain. Really, it was only drizzling. And one great thing about hiking on a Tuesday morning is that we were the only ones on the trail! I could smell that wonderful smell of real, earthy dirt. I saw the Little Big Econ River. We think we saw where the two rivers connect. Big Brother was fascinated by the logs in the water. We saw twisting trees, trees that were low to the earth, the residue of a campfire and a bridge.
This was so much better than watching The Cat in the Hat or going to Aldi. I want to take my kids adventuring every day. Sure, we got eaten up by mosquitos (except for my dad…curious, very curious) but it’s a small price to pay for an adventure and a memory.