In case you’ve missed it, it’s July already. In fact, it’s almost the middle of July and I’m in a full on panic.
This happens to me every year and I realize that precious summer moments are slipping away. With only one child, I have a one shot deal every summer to make it memorable. It doesn’t have to be an extravagant summer but the idea of Field Trip Fridays is to ensure a couple of things: I get an intentional break from work at least once a week, I get to spend quality time with Evan, I tear him away from TV and video games, and I get to expose him to things that we don’t normally have time for.
I even wrote an entire post about all the fun things I had on our list to do this summer! And guess how many we’ve done? Zero. None. We’ve gone to the movies and gone on walks and jumped on the trampoline but we just haven’t gotten out. And I’m bummed about it.
Last week, I decided that if the world won’t stop, then I will. I’ve been wanting to get back to nature and get in better shape and found this awesome app and website called AllTrails and came up with a local trail I wanted to hike. And I was going to take Evan with me!
Except he didn’t want to go. He was having a lot of fun playing with his friends and I was worried that if I forced him to go, he’d be miserable and he’d make me miserable.
So off I went to a park about 10 miles away. I’d been there a few years ago when Evan was only 5 and I was looking for a good playground. But I had no idea that it had awesome hiking trails like the one recommended on AllTrails called the Switchback Loop, a 4.5 mile loop trail that passed along the Patapsco River. And it was considered “easy” so I was sure we could handle it.
Well, I’m glad I went on my own. 4.5 miles is a lot longer than I thought and while it wasn’t too hot, it was humid and I was drenched in sweat. The elevation and terrain was more challenging than I expected but the scenery was totally worth it.
About halfway through the hike, I found a nice flat rock right on the the river’s edge and drank a little water and ate a nut bar before continuing on. And I realized the joy of a solo hike. I could keep my own pace and not listen to anyone complaining about their feet, legs, etc. Throughout the hike, I was able to look around, listen to the birds, take a break, or not. And when I got sweaty, I thought wow, I’m hot and sweaty and then pressed on.
I came home and realized all on my own that I was in the BEST mood. I didn’t spend time with Evan. I didn’t get him out of the house. But he had fun and I had some much needed respite (nature is my happy place).
And now, when I drag my family to the park with me next week, I can act as their experience tour guide motivating them as they complain every half mile or so. And we’ll all get ice cream when we’re done.