After dinner tonight Keaton was asking for dessert. Not that we do dessert as a regular thing, but she pretty much asks about it after each dinner. Most times we just remind her that not every dinner is followed by something sweet. Tonight I suggested we make cookies. Keaton helped me dump in and mix the ingredients and then run the beater to blend it all together into a mushy dough. She busied herself licking the beaters while I dolloped out the dough. Afterward she used a fork to score them for baking (peanut butter chocolate this time around). They came out OK… sort of overly salty and not very sweet. Next time I’d adjust the recipe in both regards. At least we had a good time.
I love doing with her. Not just being or being-around but actually cooperating, teaming up, collaborating. It’s surprising how much she knows and how decent she is at things like following instructions. It’s in these instances when I tend to appreciate how much she’s grown up in her just-about-four years. I can remember her helping me in the garden a while back and that she was too worried about getting dirt in her shoes to really enjoy it. Now she cracks eggs Julia Child.
I’ve had this plan or idea or maybe notion… I’ve told Sharaun about it. Keaton’s going to be four in a month and I think she’s old enough to go on a solo back-country hiking overnighter with her dad. Well, not truly “solo” in that case I suppose, but meaning that she and I could have a daddy/daughter trip into the wilderness together. I’ve been doing some trail scouting (online, since there’s currently snow in most of the places I’m checking), looking for a short hike in and out with relatively small change in elevation. Despite wanting it to be short enough for her to hack, I’d also want it to afford us a chance to really get away into the open wilderness.
Last summer she aced the Happy Isles to Vernal Falls footbridge climb with Sharaun – so I know she’s got some stamina. I’m thinking something along the same lines, around a mile or less in country and then an overnight campout in the backpacking tent. A campfire with some good camp-food and marshmallows. Maybe some books to read or a lesson on constellations or just listening to the wildlife before bed. We could bum around the following day checking out nature, trying to identify the plants and trees by name or inventing our own names for land features (oh man I’m a nerd when it comes to this stuff). Then break camp and head back down.
As adventures go, I think she’d rate this highly – and taking her out to show her God’s beauty in natural form is ultimately appealing to me. Gonna do it for sure; already been hyping her on it for when the weather gets nice.