I hereby concede that I am an epic failure in the inspiring “joy and wonderment” department of parenting my youngest. Seriously. Let me explain. Yes, he’s already been to Maui twice (he’s 7) and Glacier National Park, and driven from Denver to Spokane and we counted that he has been to like 8 states. However, it occurred to me ( as I was giving advice to someone else on where to take their kids) that all of the wonderful little places and experiences right here in the Wenatchee Valley that I had enjoyed so much with my oldest  had been completely by-passed with my youngest. They are 13 years apart, and we did move away for a while….but REALLY? I told you. Epic fail.

I admit I’m a little more jaded now. I’m older than I was the first time around, I have waaaaayyy less patience for crowds, and I do work full time, which means sometimes (who am I kidding — most of the time) this mom is in a rush — or just happy to be at home. Sometimes I forget that he hasn’t been all of the places his brother has — I think it’s like second kiddo syndrome. You don’t intentionally try to withhold fabulous experiences, it just sort of happens in all the messy business of life. But I’ve decided rather than make excuses, that’s all the more reason to rediscover and enjoy the amazing adventures at our fingertips. Why did we quit going places and doing simple things like taking a walk on the trail or playing at all of the different parks nearby or camping locally?

Little people full of curiosity and crazy questions can provide a window to the world that we as adults often overlook. Joy is found in the silliest places and the wheels of knowledge acquisition in little brains are always turning. Taking time to re-experience the world through my youngest’s eyes is also an opportunity to check out everything I missed the first time around with my oldest because of a lack of time or funds or just plain hesitation as a first time parent. (I’m super over some earlier inhibitions like matching clothes, perfectly packed lunches, and kids that are happy and entertained all the time. We will get there when we get there so look out the window).

So, it’s decided. Here is the mission: we are making a list of things to do and see right here in our very own valley. No excuses. Then, we will report back with all the good, the bad, and the spilled chocolate cherry milkshakes. Have suggestions on where we should go? Let me know!

First up: Silver Falls, Entiat