This picture isn’t even from August, so I’m kind of cheating. In July, I took my family to Family Nature Camp in Bar Harbor, Maine, a stone’s throw from Acadia National Park.
Besides all that we learned about tide pools, lobster ecology, beaver dams, the magnetized granite unique to this region, we took some great hikes.
Our guide told us about the Beehive trail–a very challenging rock scrambler with man-made metal handles fused into vertical rock to pull yourself up. . . and up. . . and up. The ledges are narrow, the drops, steep.
I led my ten-year-old, Ben, advising him just don’t look down, keep going forward, reminding him to take his time. Once I decided that we would be doing this, the work was in quieting the persistent hum that runs through my days, of keep them safe keep them safe. For just this one afternoon, I tried out this one: trust trust trust.
We passed people on their way down, shaking their heads, telling us that mentally, they just couldn’t do it. Physically, of course they could, but the fear, of heights, of falling, made them turn back.
All along, in my mind, batting around the question of whether this was one of my worst parenting moments, (putting my child in a risky situation), or one of my best (giving him an opportunity to accomplish something very difficult). Still not sure. We never really know for certain, do we?
This picture is of Ben making it to the top.