I will never know how many miles we walked. The hours spent on our “project” added up as the days and weeks passed.
I wonder if he knew how much he helped me through the teenage years. Our walks became an outlet for me: a safe place to vent my thoughts, feelings and turmoil, and there is a lot of that when you are an awkward teenager.
We walked and walked. Our mission was to cover every single street, road, even the narrowest path in our small rural Danish town. We marked our trips on a map, as only a “type A” dad and his “type A” daughter would do.
(Thank you BabyBjörn for providing baby carriers for me and the giveaway winner)
The time he invested in me was well spent. The memories of our walks stay with me today. I will never walk another mile with him, but I know he is by my side when we walk with our kids. He would approve of the all the walks we take today with our (not so) little family.
My dad loved nature, he loved his family and he knew that getting us out in nature would bring us closer together. This is the legacy that I also wish to pass on to our kids.
Start Good Habits NOW
There is an unmeasurable value in spending time together outdoors. It opens up the door for heartfelt conversations and bonding that otherwise would have never happened if you sat together in front of the TV.
The time to start good habits and traditions is NOW, while the kids are young. Trust me, getting them off the couch and out the door later in life will prove to be an uphill battle. However, if you take them outside even before they can walk, you are instilling good values at an early age.
When we go out, I strap the baby in the carrier. He loves going along for the ride and being an integral part of the action.
OK, so our “baby” is not really little and helpless any longer. Now he’s a busy independent toddler, but he’s still not too old to “ride with mama.” His little legs get tired, the stroller is cumbersome when we are “off the beaten track,” and that’s why I baby/ toddler wear whenever possible.
BabyBjörn and National Park Trust:
BabyBjörn recently sent me their brand new Baby Carrier One Outdoors to review. They have also offered to send one of these beauties to the winner of a giveaway… Don’t forget to enter for your chance to win your own BabyBjörn Baby Carrier One Outdoors.
With this carrier, you too can establish healthy habits from the very start.
BabyBjörn partnered with the National Park Trust to promote getting kids and their families out in nature. The collaboration is set to develop the next generation of park goers and nature lovers through its Buddy Bison school program and its annual Kids to Parks Day, which takes place in May.
Continuing in my dad’s footsteps, I have vowed to raise our four boys to have a great respect and love for nature. Our boys are still young, so for the past nine years we have had to baby wear while we explored nature. Baby wearing has never slowed us down or stopped us from finding adventure.
We love doing these 5 awesome things in nature while baby wearing:
- Hiking on trails and walking along paths!
- Growing up in Denmark, we did this for hours every week. There is nothing that promotes casual conversation like a stroll through a beautiful nature setting.
- Imagine making this a habit while the kids are young.
- When they then become tight-lipped teenagers, all you have to do is take them for a hike – and the words will flow like the water in a babbling brook.
- Trust me, I know how much I told my dad on our walks!
- Bird/ wildlife watching!
- The best part about this is the preplanning and the educational value of teaching your kids about the wildlife they may encounter. Here’s a collection of books recommended by the National Park Trust.
- Rock, fossil or sea glass hunting!
- Growing up in Denmark, we spent countless hours searching for Baltic amber, fossils and sea glass along the sea shore.
- The hunched-over walk, the blistering cold wind and ice cold ocean water were no match for our quest to find the ever-elusive yellow pieces of raw Baltic amber.
- Studying the flora, plants and trees!
- If you worry about disappointing your child because the rare and endangered bird or animal didn’t make an appearance, perhaps studying plants, flowers and trees is more predictable. It leaves less of a chance for sad faces.
- Take pictures and improve your photography skills!
- In an effort to leave nature as beautiful as you found it, teach your children photography, or learn it together.
Bringing your infant and toddlers along in the carrier sets the stage early for a childhood full of free play and nature-themed activities.
I reviewed the BabyBjörn Baby Carrier One Outdoors carrier on Facebook Live and YouTube. You do NOT want to miss all the awesome features of this hip-healthy baby carrier – and a live demonstration of how to swing your child from the front to the back, without dropping him on his head!
My favorite highlights of this new carrier:
- Light-weight dirt and water repelling material! The fabric is breathable, which makes it perfect for the outdoors, especially here in South Florida.
- The carrier goes up to 33 lbs, which is approximately 3 years old.
- The easy transition from inward-facing front carrying to back carrying. I have always struggled with this, but I managed to perfect it on the BabyBjörn Baby Carrier One Outdoors. (No children were hurt in any of my attempts!)
- The belt pouch is perfect for key, cell phone and credit card, which is about all I try to carry when I am out and about with the baby in a carrier.
- The innovated adjustable width of the seat. The hip-healthy feature of an ergonomic wide leg position adds yet another level of comfort for the little riders.
- The comfortable straps throughout the carrier. Every strap is generously padded, solidly made with secure fasteners around the child’s torso and on the shoulder straps. I could tell that Jonah felt secure when I took him for a walk in the carrier.
I am so excited to share this awesome carrier with you. Enter for a chance to win your own BabyBjörn Baby Carrier One Outdoors, so you can check out all the wonderful features!
This summer, enjoy the great National Parks our country has to offer. Whether you are spending your summer on a staycation or traveling to parts unknown, make an effort to visit a park and become one with nature. The example you set for your children will last a lifetime.