a walk in the woods

When I was a kid my parents used to take us to a nature preserve at a nearby college. We would walk the paths through the woods, finding our way to bridges and ponds, looking for animals along the way. I remember loving our visits to the preserve as a kid.

Elia's First Hike at the Nature Preserve - Almost 2 Years Ago
Wells' First Hike at the Nature Preserve
Every so often, Todd and I visit the nature preserve and we took a hike there on Sunday. Almost two years ago, we took Elia there on her first hike. We've been back since and Sunday's hike marker our first time there as a family of four. Only a few steps into the hike, Elia asked if she could get out of her Kelty and walk. We obliged and off she went. 

As she ran through the woods, she squealed with delight as she found the same bridges that I walked as a kid, noticing chipmunks scurrying about and asking if she could swim in the algae-filled ponds. I loved watching her explore. She sees things that I don't notice and asks questions that make me think about things in new ways.

She loves to do new things and we make it a point to expose her to new things and take her on different outings. Most of them aren't particularly notable - a trip to the grocery store, paddleboarding at the lake, long walks, trips to the zoo and museums - normal kid things. Every time we go somewhere, we talk about new things and she see new things and gets to ask new questions and at her age, her world expands with every new experience. 

Though their adventures seem modest now, I hope we are teaching our children to explore, to be curious, and to find joy in discovery. I can't wait to watch both of our kids run around those woods together.

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