My dad is the quintessential wilderness man. He moved to Anchorage, Alaska to get away from people, and when the thriving metropolis of Anchorage got to be too populated for him at a whopping 500,000 people, he and my mom moved to middle-of-nowhere Alaska.

And Siah takes after him through and through. When he and Button venture off into the woods together, he leads her (in every other situation, she chomps at the bit to be first!).  And when they go on hikes with Niki, she fatigues out in about 20 minutes, but he goes for 2 hours and could keep going!

So when Papa visited a couple weeks ago, he and Siah went on their first “manventure” together.  My mom and I dropped them off far from home at the edge of the forest behind our house.  Their mission was to find their way through the woods back to our home. Siah’s eyes twinkled with excitement. He lept out of the car, “Bye, Mom!”, and didn’t look back.  And off they trekked to conquer the world.

They had a great time. They tracked deer, walked over a river on a log, and jumped over a stream covered in thin ice. Siah also used a sword (stick) to whack on nearly every tree he saw. At one point, Siah walked into the middle of a thorn bush and Papa recounted in dramatic fashion how every move Siah made to extricate himself from the bush was accompanied with an, “Oh! “Ah!” “OOOCH!” “Oh, that hurts!” “Oh, no!” and “Ouch!”  Papa was laughing so hard — Siah was in such pain but his pure little heart kept his expressions so clean (I love this kid!).

When they came out of the forest, Siah exclaimed, “There’s my neighbor’s house! And there’s MY house!”

The next morning, the first thing Siah said to me was, “Mama?! Can Papa and I go on anudder manventure today?!”

It is so important to me that our kids have these kind of memories with their grandparents because they are foundational to building strong, positive, cross-generational bonds in our family.  I can’t wait for Siah and Papa to go off together again!