We've been on the road - not the international escapades of my cohort Kate, but a respectable distance from Manhattan. We packed up the Kid and hauled out to Montana and spent days hiking through pine trees, galavanting on rapids, and spying ancient geysers.
I know I claimed the tag Manhattan Mama when we started this blog. But truth is I am a Western girl at heart. Do not get me wrong - I love grabbing a perfect steak at 1 am, and a fancy martini just a block from my house, being able to see incredible museums or listen to great live music with just a simple subway ride. And I thrive in the eclectiveness of the city -- and I think the Kid does too. But it's also important for me that I get OUT. And out to me requires a big sky, land choked with trees and nights so quiet I can hear the wind.
I don't see myself moving back West at least for now. But I consider it crucial that the Kid sees land like this at least once a year. She needs to pass by people who say Hi and smile, sometimes on horseback, needs to smell crushed pine walking home from dinner, needs to know the sky has more than 8 stars, and needs to see there are places where animals roam free, not on a leash, not tucked into a purse, not in a zoo.
We bought the Kid a "poop" book (I know you've sen these). And she spent a good solid day using it to identify the (ahem) scat found throughout Yellowstone. The city of course is littered in droppings: rats, pigeons and dogs whose owners can't be bothered. She avoids these, and is quite skilled at the city hustle in walking fast and sidestepping those bombs. In yellowstone though? They were treasures to discover. Not exactly what I'd imagine she come to appreciate, but there you go. One kid's treasure is another creature's.....