Hakin. That's Michael-speak for hiking, which is a loose interpretation of what we did Saturday morning.
I've written before about how incredible our metro park system is - we have a glorious assortment of diverse parks to visit and it's pretty shameful how few of them we've actually been to see.
There is one park in particular, that I've been semi-aware of since my college days, that is only minutes away from our house. Saturday was cool and sunny, we had no morning/afternoon plans, and we decided to head out.
To be fair, last year at this time (or even a couple of months ago) we really would have needed a stroller to take any kind of long walk. Neither Matt nor I every had much luck w/ baby wearing and I do think it limited us a bit in where we were able to take the kids. BUT Michael is a hardy explorer these days and Matt agreed in advance to carry him if he really had a difficult time. We decided to drive to a parking area near a "trail head" and just see how things would go.
We could not have picked a better day for our mini-adventure. What is it about being in the woods? The sound of our feet crunching the carpet of leaves, the smell of earth and cool weather, the gentle noise of birds and wind in the trees - it was heavenly.
This is something I want for our kids. To know the particular kind of light that filters through tree tops. To understand what it is to enjoy being outside, to appreciate their surroundings, to delight in the world with out needing other stuff for entertainment. To enjoy walking and talking and laughing together.
Harper stubbornly turned over log after log, searching for slugs. Michael tried to pick up a daddy long legs and jumped about twenty feet when it scurried away. They threw leaves and gathered sticks. They tripped and fell and survived it. Michael actually did a fairly hilarious face-plant into the leaves but carried forth like the trooper that he is. He earned his story to tell, "Me hakin! Me fall down!"
We threw things into the water and watched to see what happened. We marveled - the children at the world, Matt and I at the children.
As we walked there was actually a golf course running along one side of the park and a fairly busy road on the other. It didn't matter. We were in our own little world. When Harper and Michael remember these times, they will think we were in the middle of nowhere.
Lucky for us, nowhere is only about five minutes away. We plan to go back often.