Our Wild ChildrenJanuary 13, 2016
This blog is about taking our kids outside, on hikes, paddling, beachcombing & into the wilderness. Our hope is to inspire and educate others to allow them to do the same. We would like to build a community of like-minded families. We intend to get the most from these experience by living in the moment while we are out in nature.
The idea for a blog started when we were writing a grant application for an expedition to the Arctic for the summer. If we were given the grant we would be expected to have a family website. But even if we didn’t get the grant the idea of a blog started growing on me. Since having kids I have felt that I have lost all personal introspection, awareness and growth I used to posses. My life has turned reactionary. I work all week and react to the kids every evening and on weekends. React, play, some fighting, play, read, sing, but no thinking. Emotions good & bad, but no depth to thoughts about how I’m feeling, how I can improve things, how I want to enjoy life and how I want to raise my family. The idea of a blog turned into something for me, a way I could channel my feelings and inspire creative thought.
My husband and I have the same love of the outdoors. Before having kids we did some great trips and we spent a lot of time outdoors. Our first baby put a lot of hours in the carrier as we continued to hike often as before. But when I got pregnant again and we had our second 17 months after our first it became hard to get out hiking. Could I carry one on the front and one on the back? To top it off my husband blew out his knee and had to have surgery when the second was just one year which that took about 8 months off our active lives. Now the kids are two & three and it’s time to get back at it.
We joined an outdoor family preschool program in our community called Wild Child. Their website cites their “activities are rich learning experiences aimed at creating a deep connection with nature, community & self”. Activities consists of storytelling, animal empathy through games, plant recognition, harvesting and use of wild plants, fire making, sensory awareness, tracking, bird language & wild craft. Although the program didn’t live up to our expectations we are still in love with the ideas. We want to connect our kids with nature in a really positive way. We want to build a community of other families who have similar goals and get outside with other kids & parents. We want our kids to be inspired in nature, to feel creative and develop imaginative play.
I feel that these goals may only be reached with thought and purpose rather than assuming our kids will fall in love with the wilderness like we did. We are ready to take our kids on a real camping expedition. Recently we were still planning for the future. When would they be ready? Another 5 years? Or 10 years? Would we end up putting it off until it was too late? The big inspiration for me came when my husband found videos of the Clark Family expeditions. Watching the videos of the four amazing trips this family went on with kids the same age as ours was inspiring. If they can do it, we can do it! We’re ready for the inevitable learning curve!