Today Isaac and I had a daddy/son afternoon hiking at a nearby mountain. The locals call it a hill, but the locals don't know I'm from flat-as-a-tortilla Florida. Tallahassee has hills. This thing was a mountain. Ok, we'll compromise: hilltain. And it was Isaac's first hiking expedition—sort of. He did go hiking once in Florida (where we took the backpack picture featured in our header), but lets be honest. Hiking in Florida is a bit like snow skiing in Ohio or eating seafood in South Dakota - doable, but not the greatest.
While thinking about this post and what a GREAT afternoon Isaac and I had, I was reminded of a good article Dr. Russell Moore wrote about how social media can make us depressed. We all have the tendency to only post the good, so our blogs and Facebook pages are filled with rosy and witty quotes, our pictures look straight out of a travel magazine and we present ourselves like Parents of the Year or master chefs or any number of things. We look at each other's pages and think, "They have a cool life. My life is no where near as interesting. They are ALWAYS happy." Even if we don't think these thoughts explicitly, sometimes we click away with a general sense of dissatisfaction.
What we don't post are things like the massive meltdown Isaac had before going on our hike. Our little Southeast Asian didn't want to wear shoes. Nobody wants to watch a video of Isaac screaming and defiantly telling his parents, "NO!" or his parents repeatedly sending him to the corner or spanking him. My first thought was not, "Honey! Get the camera! The folks back in Florida will think this is adorable!" In fact, I nearly called off daddy/son afternoon because he was behaving so horribly—stomping his feet and falling on the ground. I was totally exasperated and ended up yelling back at him. I was not exactly the gentle, firm, loving father. So there. We're all normal.
And you know what? After all that, I ended up taking off his shoes ten steps into the hike because I could tell they were bothering him.
You don't have to mail me the Parent of the Year trophy—just send the prize money.
So, this was Isaac's first real hike. And he was a champ. He hiked the whole way to the top of the hilltain by himself. Without being carried. Wearing flip-flops. The guide we read online said it would take an average adult 20 minutes to reach the top (the hike starts half-way up). It took Isaac's tiny 3-year-old legs 30 minutes. I sounded like I chain-smoked for 31 years when I reached the summit. Isaac wasn't winded at all—for him it was like we'd been walking in the mall. I was so proud.
|Translation: "Jambul Hill(*cough*tain) Hiking Area"|
|The Stud taking steps half as tall as him.|
|View from the top.|
He even walked in front of me almost the entire ascent, picking paths and telling me (and asking me) where to go next. He threw out a couple "good job, Daddy"'s, too. The man is gonna be a leader.
After a short rest, water and apples (thanks Mama!) at the top, we headed down. This time the 3-year-old kicked in and I had to carry him down most of the way, but he was still in a great mood and so fun to be around.
Here's a little video of our afternoon: