Explore Nature with Your Children
By John P. DeGrazio
If I had a dollar for every Facebook post with a generic proclamation about how kids make their parents proud, I’d be a rich man. Facebook seems to be inundated with these types of posts that end with share if you are proud of your daughter or son. I find irony in these posts because it’s often a photo from someone else that is being shared by people with no connection to the post. Don’t be mistaken, I find it admirable for people to use this as a display of love, but I wonder how many parents stop at the share. What does that mean? My point is it would be much more meaningful if you were a parent that shared unique experiences with your own children that created an interesting photo or incredible memory.
There’s no better way to accomplish that than choosing an adventure in nature with your child to develop their confidence and your relationship as you explore the outdoors together. I had the opportunity to share an unforgettable adventure with my nine year old daughter this past weekend in Yosemite. We planned a hike to the top of Yosemite Falls and Yosemite Point. Before we began the hike, we stopped along the Merced River to gaze upon El Capitan and the Three Brothers. We stood in silence as we absorbed the beauty of the moment.
Our hike up the trail was filled with as many teachable moments as there were photo opportunities. We discussed science, art, and a wide variety of subjects to take our minds off the steep climb. She really enjoyed lunch at our “special” spot where she had a chance to climb on some rocks and admire the face of Half Dome. It was a thrill for me to witness her enduring strength throughout the day, and I was extremely proud to trek with her. On the descent, she thanked me for taking her to such an awesome place and asked when we are going to try Half Dome. She is definitely becoming a true rock star.
Adventures come in all sizes. There are no mileage requirements. Whether you take your child for a walk in the park or just around the block, you are going to appreciate every tender moment you share with them. Then they may actually tell their friends how proud they are of you.