As a working mama, the weekend is my time be with my family and get some much-needed exercise in. When Sprout was younger (18 months and younger), our weekend hikes were a great opportunity for Aaron and I to talk, as Sprout was content just going along for the hike and we were free to hike which ever trails we wanted. I thought that hiking would get easier as Sprout got older… how I was wrong. (I’m sure it will get easier in a few more years).
By the end of last summer, it seemed like we all ended our hikes frustrated and angry, rather than reinvigorated and connected. It was all wrong and I found that we were going on hikes less often. Sprout wanted to explore every rock, leaf, and stick (very normal behavior for a 2-year-old) and take an hour to go less than a mile. She was angry if we tried to move her a long or put her on our backs, and we were frustrated that we wouldn’t be able to do the hike we had hoped to do. When she was on our backs (which she was only willing to do for short periods of time), she wanted to be in the conversation. She is quite the conversationalist. Aaron and I longed for our stress-free, heart pumping, meditative hikes that we once had.
So this year, we are taking a different approach (I’ll write about it soon, so stay tuned). We are working to become more patient and mindful, reminding ourselves that a child who appreciates nature is a wonderful thing. Give her time to explore and soon she will be complaining that we are too slow!
For those interested, we had a similar experience with snowshoeing this year (she refused to be on our backs)… I’m sure I’ll get use out of my new snowshoes eventually… 🙁