Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Where the Not So Wild Things Will Be

Sadly, the Hanna family has become too good at the staycation. We have seen our share of thin times. A townhouse that is literally sucking the life out of me and is the weight of a gorilla on my back reared up its ugly head once again to the tune of $900...a new compressor for the air conditioner.

What does this all mean?

Nothing, really.

We have our health and our happiness and still enough money to go out to dinner now and then and buy Starbucks coffees. Though....seriously....who am I kidding? I would be one of those people on food stamps still going to Starbucks.

The good news is because we have become so well versed at the staycation it sometimes is more fun than if we had actually gone anywhere. As I sit in class on Tuesday morning, the only Tamil manavar that dared show up, staring straight into the face of five solo hours of Tamil after a long, long three day weekend, I reflect on our staycation Labor Day weekend.

Fortunately, our children are inexpensively and easily entertained (except when it comes to Legos, of course). Tacos at a new favorite Mexican restaurant (crab quesadilla for Elise, grilled salmon tacos with mango salsa for me....Yum! And who knew that they had just tapped an ice cold keg of Sierra Nevada IPA? I felt like I won the lottery), riding bikes without training wheels, swimming in the pool, a trip to Burke Lake Park to ride the carousel and toy train (really, less like a toy train and more like a roller coast one might find at Six Flags), and a hike along the Potomac, what more could a little boy (or girl) ask for??

The Labor Day weekend ended with a hike at Caderock Recreational Area on the Maryland side of the Potomac. I am happy that my boys like to a warm, contented way like I have chocolate chip cookies baking inside my heart. I wasn't prone to much hiking as a youngster, but once I moved to Colorado I was hooked. I quickly took to the idea that certain travels were all about the journey itself and not at all about the destination. Sadly, I do not feel the same way about car trips. I need to feel my feet against the ground. Furthermore, they need to hurt. A recent flare up of nasty plantar fasciitus took care of that.

It made me happy in a life-shifting way to watch Sam and Pete take to the trail. They forged ahead quickly and with gusto. Accompanied by their best friend, the boys plowed ahead, quickly devouring the trail without a single thought or care that every step they took took them a little further from the car and made an eventual return trip just a little bit longer. Clementine happily followed, bouncing in the backpack I wore until after we turned around and headed back, at which point she was determined to take to the trail herself. She has Elise's fortitude combined with her own brand of steely determination.

Sam insisted on leading. Elise often comments that she had a lot of her older brother in him, a worthy and appropriate complement. Pete was happy to long as he had a stick in his hand and even stood atop a tree trunk with one, alternatively brandishing like he was in the film Gladiator and waving it in the air like Harry Potter casting a spell.

We stopped and watched the rock climbers scale the granite rock faces, Elise and I looking on and conspiratorially plotting our own ascents and me secretly justifying the purchase of a $300 top rope. All my life, I have been soley dedicated to aerobic pursuits, how fast can I go for how long. Rock climbing presents a completely different, anaerobic challenge that I find fascinating. I love the marriage of a physical challenge with a mental conundrum and I'm trying to sell Elise on the pursuit, as well. I think she's game. Moreover, I know she would be awesome.

I feel the need to keep the kids on trails, in tents, and rock faces for as long as I can. Fortunately, I don't think this will be hard.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Not sure how old your kids are, but you should check out Sport Rock Climbing Center. There are two in the VA suburbs of DC. They seem to have some good climbing opportunities for kiddos.