Taking Children to the Mountains

Mountains scare me!

Be it driving through the curved paths or climbing through the woods, I always hold my breathe until the ordeal is over. As a child, once our family had been to a trip to Mysore. As we started climbing the ghat roads, I remember praying to God at every hair-pin bend, to make us reach home safely. Today as I reflect the incident, I not only laugh at myself but also regret for having missed to admire the beauty of the mountains and in fact to have missed to enjoy the very thrill of ghat road ride.

Ironically, H is an avid trekker. It amazes me to see the photographs of the dangerous treks he often does with great interest. I have never dared to accompany his adventures. However, we did a small trek together as a family, last year. Though H calls it a toy trek, it was a first-of-its-kind adventure and achievement for me.

Our little boy, two years old then, used to get greatly inspired by his dad’s mountain stories. To keep his inspiration alive, H wanted to make him climb a small hillock. It is a rocky hill near Hosur where we happened to stay for a day. On this hilltop is located the famous Chandrachoodeshwarar temple.

I was alarmed even with the idea of climbing a rocky area and to take our son was all the more startling. Visuals of him rolling down the hill had already pre-occupied my mental screen but when our toddler fellow was determined to go for it, I obliged. In fact, his enthusiasm made me feel intrigued to try.

My perception that climbing mountains is all about slipping down and falling to death was finally broken that day, more because of the fearlessness I saw in my son. While I moved every step of mine cautiously, he had a casual chat with his dad as they both kept climbing up what seemed like walking on a smooth road. When we reached the top of the hill, the trekker in him paired with the nature lover in him that he was in awe about the panoramic view from the hilltop.

That was the day I realized how important it is to hide our parenting instincts of over-protectiveness, sometimes, to let our children try what’s inconceivable to us. Little children are capable of more than what we imagine. Be it their physical strength or their will power, they can move mountains. It’s we who treat them as fragile beings.

The next time you get a chance, try taking your children for a trek to a hill or a mountain. Make sure to make them walk instead of carrying. Allow them to climb through rough paths with your guidance. Connecting with mountains can make one strong and bond with raw nature which children of today miss to grow up along with, in high-raised apartments.

Of all the picnics and holidays we had had, this small trek is what stands out in my son’s memory for it had brought a sense of achievement in his little heart and a special bonding time with his parents.

0 Replies to “Taking Children to the Mountains”

  1. A thought provoking post, Nandini. Many times we assess situations based on our capabilities, interest and our own level of understanding. If we let them be, it’s much easier. Isn’t it?

    1. That’s a tricky thing in parenting. We cannot always let them be themselves, especially when they are young. Well, atleast am that kind of a parent though H is a lot different. Perhaps, we need to be wise enough to discern the situations.

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