Today I took Anna and Will to my parents’ house for the morning and lunch. They live almost an hour away, and we hadn’t been there in a while (they usually come visit us). Anna was especially looking forward to going for a walk in “the forest” – not the woods, but “the forest”, which apparently is a special, enchanted place… located behind my parents’ house. So after lunch, my dad, the kids, and I ventured forth into the forest for an adventure. What kid doesn’t love tromping through leaves and pine straw, crunching on sticks, and climbing up and down little hills? We had a grand time! My dad was in charge of our expedition, and made sure we stopped to look and listen for wild turkeys, deer, etc at appropriate intervals (we heard something, but didn’t see anything today). It was so neat for me to see him teaching Anna and Will about trees and animals and nature. It reminded me how he and my mom instilled a love of nature in me as a kid… going for walks, hikes, camping, fishing, to the beach and the mountains, etc. They taught me how to look and listen deeply, to value all living things, to treasure the beauty all around. What a wonderful gift that hopefully we can pass on to Anna and Will. It’s funny how parenting Anna and Will can cause me to reflect on my own childhood.