Posted by Len Ramirez, Total Teen Dad | Posted in Miscellaneous | Posted on 28-05-2010
It was their first time. We packed up the Honda Prelude, rolled back the sunroof, and headed up to Memorial Park in La Honda (located above Woodside near Loma Mar off Hwy 84 on the way to Pescadero on Hwy 1), a guaranteed hit with kids because of it’s creeks, rope swings, modest hiking trails, and ampitheatre. It was a warm sunny morning, and the kids were wondering what dad was doing getting them up so early. What could be that cool?
I paid $6 at the gate to the park and as we drove slowly down the small cracked pavement to the picnic area where my mother took us as kids, I looked at them in the rear view mirror and alongside me. Their faces were solemn, looking at the giant redwoods and the lush green foliage everywhere.
I parked the car and the kids jumped out. As I stepped out of the car, they asked, “Can we get up on the giant tree?”
“Of course”, I muttered enjoying the moment.
And so they climbed on top of the giant fallen tree, just as I did when I was young(erer). They stood on top of it simply looking up in wonderment at the height and the breadth of the environment they were in.
“Listen daddy. You can hear the leaves moving.”
I had done it. I had not only showed them wonder and joy, but I had created a respect for the environment, and continued a tradition.
Today, my teens still go camping – whether it’s with each other, their friends, or with me. They love the beach. They still have the appetite to explore new places, take pictures instead of taking mementos home, and are careful not to trample the environment where it is not meant to be trampled.
Because playing outdoors is better than video games. Hiking and rock climbing is better than music television. Biking and swimming in the ocean is more grounding than reality television.
It wasn’t hard. I didn’t have to recreate the wheel. I just had to look to my past. To the lessons my parents taught me. To the places they took me. The food they fed me.
As for me? Well, I’m still cool. I still know how to take them to places they’ve never been, show them new things they’ve never seen, and how to do things they’ve never tried. Memorial Park was just the beginning.
The birth of Total Teen Dad.