After my early morning Earth Day ride to the Pagoda, I came home to find my son and his buddy awake from a late night sleepover (wife still soundly snoozing her spring break away). Surprise, surprise, the boys were busy playing video games. In an effort to peel their eyes away from electronic screens, I suggested a trip to Chippokes Plantation State Park for a hike. I am not sure why, but they easily said yes, and I did not linger long enough for them to change their minds.
I try, as often as possible, to get my son outside, to the country, the beach, the woods or anywhere out of the house and indoor activities. When I was growing up, you could not keep me inside. We spent entire days on our bikes, playing in the woods, building forts, tromping through streams, playing various pick-up games, and more often than not, we had to be called in at night. The world my son lives in is one of more organized activities, play dates, parental permissions and indoor amusements. There is no such thing as being able to roam at will, exploring without supervision until dark. Some other things that disturb me about children of my son's generation is that they seem to expect (and sometimes demand) constant entertainment, and for the most part find it difficult to enjoy the quieter times or to make up their own fun. The picture is not completely bleak - I think he and his peers are better educated than I was at his age; are ready to live in a multicultural world without the amount of prejudice that was present in mine; and are capable of easily navigating an increasingly technical world.
Each time I have visited the beach at Chippokes, I have found a string of beads. This time was no exception.
Taxodium distichum behind the beach.
Taxodium distichum on the beach.
I am not sure how much fun the boys had at Chippokes, but at least they had a change in scenery, and I know the hike and the fresh air did them some good. Whether they enjoyed the trip or not, I did.
(This blog's previous trips to Chippokes are here and here.)