As a kid, I loved being outdoors, so summertime was the best time. I would sleep in the backyard on a pool chair until I got old enough to pitch forts and tents. That eventually led to my best summer of nearly taking up residence in a tree house I built with my best friend.
For so long, I never really understood why the outdoors and adventuring tugged at me so much. I only knew that without it, I would get anxious. The only way to calm it, was to give in.
To this day, much of that remains in me. But I’ve become much better at tempering that feeling until the opportunity allows me to break away from the daily bustle.
Fortunately for me (not so much for my son), I now have a little guy who operates much the same. My own life experiences have equipped me well in terms of helping him take control of those uneasy feelings.
He’s going into the 4th grade, he’s ready for it. But the kid in him is nervous and anxious about the new structure and new expectations. As each day draws closer to the first day of school, we fall back on our pre-back-to-school routine of hiking as much as we can.
This last week, I guided him as he selected a new backpack from BackPacks.com – a great site for backpacks of all kinds to suit your life’s needs. The site has curated a refined selection of the best quality backpacks. I especially like how clean the site design is so that even my little guy can easily maneuver around it to find his exact needs. This year, his is all about pockets—and little zippered compartments for hidden treasures and secret things. It’s an exciting time for him and a big step towards getting himself geared for a new year of adventures.
The day that the backpacks arrived, I stood by as he walked himself through how he wanted to load each pocket, then we headed out for a walk-through of the first day and a hike. Much like me, test runs of the unfamiliar calms his nerves, so we walked around his school, looked inside classrooms then headed out for our favorite trail.
I love that the he has nature to help him self-regulate. We hiked, we took pictures and I showed him a little a bit of how to work a camera. Then of course, like most boys his age, he couldn’t wait to see them right away. Knowing that, I planned ahead and easily slipped my computer into my backpack. We checked out the photos, talked about school and then did what we love most —laid down with our backs to the grass and just stared up at the trees and talked about how we would build our dream tree house.
This project is just in the planning phase, but if all goes accordingly, next summer will be spent atop a tree and coming down only as needed. Some childhood dreams never die, they just change and adapt as I grow older. I’m thankful that this one has morphed into one that my little guy and I can enjoy together.
**This is a sponsored post in collaboration with my BackPacks.com partnership. All opinions are my own.