With Parenthood, Preparedness

Parenting forces you to think beyond your own needs.

© Galyna Andrushko | Dreamstime.com

As I was working at my desk putting together our annual Family Survival Guide, I was feeling rather envious. My son was out doing something far more challenging and fun.

He was climbing 14ers.

For those of you unschooled in mountain hiking (as I was until several years ago), there are a series of 14,000+ peaks in Colorado that people routinely climb. These jagged giants of the Rocky Mountains beckon those who find themselves audacious enough to hike to their rocky summits. This is mountain hiking at its most strenuous. It takes determination and perseverance, not to mention good physical health, to make it up and back down without incident.

As a kid who’s grown up living in the city, my son is not an avid outdoorsman. Not like other teens in our area for whom fishing or hunting is second nature. If we wanted to enjoy a weekend in the wild, we had to drive to a state park or visit a friend's ranch outside Holly Springs.

When I was a kid, many of our homes bordered on wide, open spaces. And they were literally just steps from my front door. It wasn’t hard to find marshes where the frogs trilled or huge rocks that snakes would coil on to warm themselves in summer. I never realized how having access to nature shaped my love of the outdoors until I became an adult and had to seek out those experiences to escape the thrum of city life.

So that my son embraced this opportunity to be outdoors experiencing its wildness made me happy. I know the challenge of accomplishing these hikes loomed large. However, he did what plenty of kids his age do. He went rather unprepared. If he had set out on his climb with what he had put together for the trip, he might have found himself in a jam. The high temperatures, even in June, were only in the 30s near the summit. And when the wind starts to howl? Well, you can imagine.  

Thankfully, his dad gathered the equipment and supplies they would need to make their climbs uneventful. He did it in his usual way: quietly, without a lot of fanfare, simply thinking about his son's welfare and doing his best to make sure the risks they might face were thought through.    

I think that’s what becoming a parent does for most of us; it makes you have to think beyond your own needs to consider what is best for your child’s well-being, too. Then you do what it takes to make sure your child is safe and cared for. Much of parenting is a lesson in risk management, anticipating what could happen in a situation and responding accordingly. That’s why, as a new parent, you baby-proof your home, to make sure when your adventurous toddler is exploring, he can’t put a fork in his bedroom outlet.

Planning ahead and gathering the resources that will help your family reach their goals is a task we do every day. Whether it’s going shopping for groceries, or picking up resources like this magazine to help you plan your month. Our Family Survival Guide is a great issue to have on-hand throughout the year. Because inside you’ll find useful listings that cover everything, from schools and social service agencies, to lots of fun things to do with the kids every day of the year. You’ll be prepared for anything that comes your way. And it won’t be as taxing as climbing a mountain, I promise. Happy Summer!

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