I have two boys who I love adventuring with. We love exploring in our beautiful backyard. We go hiking, camping, biking, skiing in the Rockies every time we can. We usually have fun. I post the beautiful pictures of views, kids smiling, happy family on my social media. We look like such an outdoorsy and active family (and we are!). My friends and family compliment on our magical adventures and how good of mom I am to bring my kids and expose them to that healthy and outdoorsy lifestyle.
Truthfully it’s hard, very hard.
Mornings are awful. Kids don’t want to get up. They don’t cooperate. They fool around instead of getting dressed. They ask for crepes for breakfast when all I want to do is get ready and get going! When we finally get in the car they often spend the whole way fighting and arguing. Once at destination, it’s too cold, too warm, don’t want to carry the backpack, don’t like the lunch, the trail is too hard, to flat… I even had a kid want to turn around after 10 minutes of skiing because it was too slippery. But I push them, encourage them, try to make it fun. I “force” them, push their limits.
And then the magic happens!
We get going, they start playing, discussing the games they play on the Xbox. The fighting and arguing slowly disappear, and we can enjoy the moment, the fresh air. When they were young they found skittles trees on the trails or I had my pockets full of gummies to motivate them. Going with friends was always a winning situation. They would forget how hard it was and they’d move more quickly while laughing and playing. Nowadays we talk about nature, birds, leafs, trees, mountains… we bound. We are creating memories.
The best is what I see in their eyes when we finish a hard and long ski day, when we arrive at the destination of a long back country camping trek or when we get to the top of a mountain. They are happy but especially proud of themselves. They pushed their limits and worked very hard.
I know what I’m doing is good. I hope it’s going to pay later. I know it’s good for their mental health. They are always way more agreeable after a nice hike through the forest. I know I’m doing the right thing when after a long ski day my youngest says: thanks mom for forcing us to go skiing with you!
Written By Caroline Lampron – RLAG AMBASSADOR