Last Saturday, as one of our baseball coaches recognized each player, he started talking about our guy. “This kid….he started the season out with some struggle, but he did everything we told him too and he worked really, really, hard. Now he’s a solid hitter. He’s come so far. We’re so proud of him….” It was a good thing I had my sunglasses on because Mama was tearing up. Hard work. Perseverance. Determination- they are some of the best character attributes our kids can possess and frankly, our children won’t know the amazing feeling of working hard for something, unless we give them the opportunities and let them earn it themselves.
Whatever it is, whether it be schoolwork, sports or putting away their own laundry, our kids are plenty old enough to learn how good it feels to work hard at something and reap the rewards at the end.
It wasn’t that long ago, I was standing around a table with some girlfriends, while one of them was telling me about her two little girls hiking Oyster Dome. Um…hello! Oyster Dome! Say what?! These girls are like 4 and 5! Listening to her talk, my jaw was dropped. Oyster Dome is hard for most adults, I’d never even considered taking my kids anytime soon. Here’s the thing though….our kids are often capable of a lot more than we think and we’ll never know until we try.
So last weekend, we packed up and took our kids on their longest hike ever. There was a lot of hard work and determination, but their attitudes were amazing (which might of had something to do with the fruit snacks I was giving them to keep their energy up). It wasn’t as steep as Oyster Dome, but it did have it’s fair share of switchbacks. It was an ideal real “first hike”. At 6 miles, and 1000 ft. elevation gain, this hike was challenging, but very safe and perfect for gaining confidence in themselves.
On this hike, I saw two young kids transition from easy trail walkers, to hikers that I enjoy exploring with. They brought the determination and got a taste of how good it feels when you reach the top.
So are you looking to do your first real family hike? If you’re north of Seattle (or willing to take a drive), check out Fragrance Lake. The trail is very well maintained, there’s ample parking, a bathroom in the parking area and the lake is beautiful. Bring water, snacks (high energy foods your kids love), bug spray, your Discover Pass and enjoy your time!
Here are a few photos from our hike: