Over the long holiday weekend, we decided to escape the triple-digit heat in the Valley of the Sun and retreat to the pines, filling our lungs with clean air and disconnecting, if only for a few days.
Excitedly anticipating a poor network connection, and being too Type A to not to have an agenda, my main business item was to clear out the photos in my iPhone. Easy enough – my idea of relaxing. I also had a list of attractions in the area to visit if the fancy struck us, to make the best use of our limited fun time. Of course, much of this list we didn’t get to because we were busy actually enjoying ourselves.
We went for walks twice a day for the puppy’s sake, but also because I wanted to expose my daughter to the wonder of nature – to work her baby neck muscles that have grown accustomed to looking down at an iPad. As we set out about our walks, she would ask me if we could go to the park. Scoff. City girl.
“The world is our park, baby! This is God’s playground.” I want her to see the world with a strong sense of curiosity and have the courage to venture out and explore. I want her to know that technology doesn’t hold all the answers, and that true magic doesn’t happen in pixels. I need her to experience rather than just witness.
We saw eagles, bugs, flowers, squirrels, neighbor dogs, a coyote friend who came a little too close for comfort… The cool, pine-scented mountain breeze broke the meditative warmth of the sun, the high altitude grounded our breathing, we spent hours at the lake enjoying nature and each other’s company. You know – like they used to do in the old days.
But, back to my agenda. I did indeed pore over my iPhone library and clear out nearly 1000 photos and videos, reliving my daughter’s first words, milestones in daycare, family celebrations, the big move… But more importantly, I made space for new memories and spent (if only) a long weekend creating new ones. And aside from the important lessons I intended for my daughter, through her eyes, I, myself, learned to look up.