Thursday, May 21, 2009

Training the next generation of trail runners

Things are looking up. When I proposed last weekend that we all head over to Bluff Point for a little hike, no one cried! This is an all time first. The kids always have fun on our little hikes (once they finally get going), but getting them out of the house and transported to the trailhead can be a bit of a struggle.

Actually, "struggle" is an understatement. By the time I get all of the hiking shoes located, snacks packed, water bottles filled, children dressed, screamers calmed (you'd think we were taking a little trip to Guantanamo) and carseats buckled, I am usually exhausted and more than ready to give up on the whole hiking idea.

But the persistence seems to be paying off. All three got into the car with little (Ben) or no (Nell and Simon) resistance. Bleeding, freaking miracle!

We had fun. Nell ran the whole time, with Simon and Ben in hot pursuit. They stopped only to climb rocks and downed trees. With the big backpack on my back, I actually had trouble keeping up with them. Especially on the downhills.

These children are fearless trail runners. I cannot tell you how thrilled I am at the prospect of actually running with them in ten years or so (assuming I am still ambulatory by then). They will surely keep me hopping.

Streams and vernal pools presented no obstacle whatsoever. The kids absolutely love barrelling through water.

We played in this pool for almost an hour. All of us. We were careful. We looked for eggs and frogs and bugs.

This is one of the great things I have taken away from homeschooling this year. I am no longer in such a rush. Being with kids 24/7 has forced me to slow down. It has forced patience into a very impatient person. And this has been such a gift. We spent an hour splashing around in the water. No reason not to. No reason at all.

We tried to get a group photo, but this is the best we could do.

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