Monday, June 19, 2017

Four Year old Camping Adventure

It was with some optimism, a little fear, and trepidation, that I set out with two four year old friends and a dad to Lewis River Falls for the friends first camping trip. This is a very long drive, and after much listening to Moana soundtrack and some questioning when we would be there, we arrived and found a campsite.
Though she is not a fan of new places and experience, Analise wanted to go camping with me. Her favorite pastime is playing in the dirt. We found this hollowed out tree near camp to explore.
After setting up camp, the young friends did agree to a short walk to the Lower Lewis River Falls. The river was beautiful.
Not only is my youngest four, she has an Autism diagnosis which leads to a lot of rigidity and an aversion to hiking. We got into an argument that ended in screaming and tears about whether we could take the trail back to the campsite to enjoy the view of the river rather than the road. This was not what Analise was expecting so she resorted to screaming and crying for her daddy which is very discouraging while I am trying to enjoy the woods. We worked to compromise though and the not so great behavior and not so great parental response moment passed.
We all had a peaceful and cozy night other than friend having a difficult time settling down. All morning we tended the fire and "roasted sticks" while our friends did some exploring and some hanging out at camp.
I tried to enjoy my unique, beautiful youngest daughter and watching her interact with her young friend.Sometimes adventures together can be really challenging since our ideas of what is nurturing can be pretty opposite, and I have to let go of expectations. I have intentionally taken time for self nurture and challenging hikes by myself, with friends, and with her sister. This was our time to be together and to appreciate the neurodiversity that comes with how she sees the world and the creative world that she and her friend create!
I am grateful for the time and hope to take these two on more adventures to come!

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