The Adventure Converts

In some instances, I’m really good at saying “no.”  Altogether now:

“Mom, can I play eight hours of video games?”


“Mom, can I have my tenth cookie in an hour?”


Easy, right? Where I struggle is when my kiddos are begging for an adventure which, quite frankly, rarely happens. We’re usually just active enough that they enjoy their downtime but on the second week of summer break, Bode came to me complaining he and his buddy Sean had nothing to do.

“Do you want to bike to our nearby open space park, play in the creek and get Slurpees after?”

Slurpees? Creek? Bike? You betcha!

We invited Sean’s sisters Sydney and Maddie, Hadley and our neighbor Sadie to join us. We’re only a 15-minute bike ride away from a glorious 133-acre park with wetlands providing habitat for waterfowl, amphibians and insects, open meadows and a creek. The water is usually very shallow but with all of our rain, it’s a knee-to-waist-deep river.

This picture right here? This. Is. Summer.

Hadley and Bode delved right in but our friends were tentative, not wanting to get their clothes wet, skirting bugs, losing flip flips, squealing about mud. However, after forging through the river, climbing over branches and logs, their adventurous spirits kicked in and they started having a blast.  I took this video at the beginning and I chuckle at their reaction:

And this at the end. They all attempted the river on their bikes except for Bode who was having mechanical difficulties. He won’t get off so easily next time. Here’s Hadley:

Yes, they are obsessed with slow-motion videos and made me capture each of them.

“Next time, I’ll more prepared to get wet,” Sadie exclaimed.

“Yeah, I have some old tennis shoes I’ll wear instead,” proposed Maddie.

“I told you guys we were going to the creek and we’d be getting wet,” I countered.

“I know,” said Sadie. “I just wasn’t expecting this.”

This meaning mud, water, bugs and zero inhibitions. It’s called Adventure 101. Give me your kids and I’ll dirty and toughen them up for the day, so long as you promise to do arts and crafts with mine.

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