Rocks And Tears: The Family Hike

rocks and tears

A few weeks ago, I took a walk with a friend. Our kids were in school, and the only stopping we had to do on our two hour round trip hike was to allow my dog to sniff around. The hour up went quickly, with the easy conversation of adults without children, and no one to interrupt our in-depth discussion of the merits of Brandon versus Dylan, and which New Kid was our favorite – Donnie for me and Jordan for Jenn, although her true affection was saved for Marky Mark, who wasn’t a New Kid at all.

At the top of the park, there is a stone tower that awards a panoramic view, and we quietly and calmly took in the breathtaking sight before heading back down.

Today, I made the same hike with my family and another family with kids around my kids’ ages. This climb was vastly different. I still had a girlfriend to chat with, but our conversation was distracted, as we were busy reminding our kids to try not to die. Slippery rocks, steep drop-offs, and walking sticks that doubled as swords took priority over possible discussions over boy band members we would hypothetically bang.

Not a quarter mile in, and I was begging my husband to carry our four-year-old so my ears would stop bleeding from her screeching whines that she was too tired to walk. He refused, wanting her to show a little grit, and she cry-walked the next quarter mile up, stopping abruptly every few feet to pick up an interesting rock.

hike crying

My friend Erin was also stopping every few feet to inquire, “Are you okay?” to her five-year-old daughter, who falls even more than I do. The answer was always yes, and she would smile, wipe the pebbles out of her palms, and race to catch up with her twin brother and my six-year-old son.

Eventually we got to the tower, or castle as it is commonly called, and the kids raced to the top. After a few minutes of hollering down to me, where I was waiting with the dog, our gaggle of kids descended, picked up their walking sticks, and resumed their attempts at impaling themselves.


The trip down the hill was better. My girl doesn’t like walking up a hill, but she adores climbing rocks, and also seems to love running down a hill. She needed a snack, which Erin cheerfully provided, and she needed to pick up 731 more rocks, which she put in my bulging pocket.

rock pocket

The kids ran ahead with the dads for a bit, and my friend and I had some quiet time to walk and talk. We finished our walk with an average 36 minute mile, only a few more tears from 75% of the kids, and as of yet, no signs of poison ivy. A successful family hike by anyone’s standards, and I can’t wait to do it again.

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16 thoughts on “Rocks And Tears: The Family Hike

  1. Love it! That picture of your hubby and daughter walking along is the best ever! We have done a few geocaching outings with our kids, and I feel like someone is always falling, crying, running into a prickly bush…oh, and the kids have problems, too! ;)-Ashley
    My recent post There Is Hope For Us After All!

  2. I end up with pockets filled with rocks too. My son loves picking them up. I could totally picture my son getting tired during the uphill climb.

  3. Ha, ha. We did this hike a couple years ago with a very similar result. Reminding kids not to die is a very important lesson for all involved. 🙂

  4. This is every family walk on the beach for us. All four of our kids stuff jagged shells in my pocket. No Ziploc bag and no indoor time for these shells, as they stink almost immediately. I do "release them into the wild" by tossing them when my kids turn their backs.

  5. Oh, I love this! Sounds like every hike I've ever been on with children. Right now my son is all about pine cones and acorns. I end up with all of my pockets stuffed with them.

  6. I love hiking. I love my kids. I hate hiking with my kids. The math doesn't make sense, but, is still true. Today, we did a "quick" walk into town and back. It took 3 hours. Long story even longer, you are one million times the mother I am.

  7. That castle is bad ass!!!!!!! You should hike back up and decorate it for Halloween. Because you have alllll that free time and whatnot. 😉

  8. We have a small Forrest ( a creek with a huge dying cottonwood tree in the middle of scrub brush and various other trees struggling to hold up its dying branches) behind our place here in Oklahoma…..the giant cottonwood has been slowly lying down over the entire forest because of a lightening strike for the entire 17 years we’ve lived here….and every year I’ve begged my own kids to go out back to take pics with the 100 year old majestic tree as it’s branches drop lower & closer to the ground. With their feet planted firmly in the front manicured lawn they protest….they hate the prickly bushes & the bugs and the big holes dug in ground by whatever wild animals dig holes back there, probably armadillos or skunks, but they are convinced it’s bears or cougars or some other man eating predators. They hate walking down the small embankment and back up the other side…its maybe a block but you would swear it was 5 miles, but every year I have a pic of my pissed off twin daughters with their noses turned up and you can just tell by the look on their faces, that if I wasn’t their mom they would have pushed me in that muddy creek that they had just jumped over sometimes making it sometimes not so much….with that beautiful old slowly dying majesty of a tree that we call the forest…..

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