June 9, 2013 by allsho
I kept a promise.
My gift for my firstborn’s fifth birthday, a couple weeks ago, was a voucher for “one adventure with dad on June 8th-9th”.
And we had our adventure.
I drove us to the mountains, up to a place I’ve loved since I was a child.
Imagine a beech forest on mountains rising up to 1900 metres above the sea level. Valleys delved and shaped by ancient glaciers who left many small lakes as they withdrew and disappeared. A natural reserve protecting this environment and its most valued guests, foxes, martens, golden eagles, probably wolves and falcons.
We reached by car the lower lake, went to the hut and settled in our bunks (his first time in a sleeping bag! and we also got acquainted with the pellet stove conveniently lit by the managers). Then, waiting for dinner to be served, we took a stroll, more like a small hike towards the higher lake.
My boy couldn’t help it: he needed to have a stick in his hand, and plunge it in the water as often as he could (“I want to fish!” – “Well, you’d better find someone who can teach you that, I ain’t going there for sure”).
Then we had dinner: penne with mushrooms, then sausage and grilled polenta (some kind of cornmeal), finally chocolate-and-pear pie. Then to bed: I read a chapter from “the Hobbit” for him (the Beorn one). And he was gone. And after a while I was as well.
In the morning, packing, a happy breakfast (he drank a whole jug of frothy milk) and off we were for a more intense hike, up to another small lake closer to the ridge crest.
Then back to the car and home.
I saw him older, more mature, satisfied, during these few hours.
Of course my wife was right suggesting I should give him an experience rather than a toy.