Back-to-School Adventures

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.

Cole and Matt on Grass Vertical

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.

Cole Snap

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.   Cole and Matt Walking

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.  Cole Book in Back Pack

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. Matt Computer in Back Pack

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. Cole and Matt Computer

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.

Cole and Matt on Grass Horizontal

**This is a sponsored post in collaboration with my BackPacks.com partnership. All opinions are my own.

8 comments to " Back-to-School Adventures "

  • Mary Ann @ the beach house kic

    Love this post Matt! I can’t believe it’s almost Back to School time. Looks like Cole’s ready for whatever school has in store for him!

  • Such an amazing moment, Matt!! I really hope you guys are able to get that dream treehouse built so that I can take some inspiration for Fiona and I when she’s a bit older. Oh, and the more pockets there are in a backpack, the better, indeed!

  • carrian

    I love this! We should do a quick walkthrough too!

  • I should check out that website. Two kids in university, let’s just say the text books weigh more than the kids. Oy.

    I hope you build that treehouse next year. What a great memory that would be. Plus you can hide out whenever you want. I’d be up there avoiding “adulting” non-stop.

  • Lisa Longley

    This totally makes me want to take my 8 year old out for a hike. We are starting a new school this year and anxiety is running high for both of us! I am for sure not an outdoor activities kind of girl, but a good hike has always calmed me. And those backpacks! We definitely need to check them out!

  • Allie|Baking a Moment

    I so enjoyed reading this post, Matt! My husband is just the same way about being outside, especially in the warmer months. We’ve been doing a lot of hiking this summer too. It’s so nice to see pics of you and Cole together, and I’m sure you’ll both love building and playing in that tree house!

  • whatshouldimakefor

    what a special post. i have two boys of similar ages yet so very different. it always amazes me how they approach the world, new experiences and nature. i’m sure the hikes with your son have created lasting and wonderful memories for you both.

  • Alida

    This is so sweet! I’m liking the Shadow of the Shark book too…one of our favorites 🙂

Leave a Comment

Development Alchemy+Aim