Letter to Christian, Age 4 Years

Dear Christian,

I know Forest Kindergarten twice a week is a good thing, but I feel some trepidation – you are becoming a very robust, active guy.  I fear you will soon outstrip me in hiking and climbing. As it is, the more time we spend outdoors, the more you seem to NEED time outdoors; in other words, keeping you indoors anymore means a huge mess and you still bouncing off the walls when night falls.

In Trabuco Canyon for our Botany Basics class, before we harvested yucca fronds to make rope. If you see water, you pretty much always strip down and jump in. Sticks are still a must.

Luckily, we have plenty of opportunity to explore beautiful wilderness areas here in sunny SoCal. On top of Forest Kindie, we usually get out to the beach or hike in a nearby wilderness. This spring has been especially fun for discovering wildlife. When we hiked Falls Canyon a week ago, we were excited to see a handful of California newts in the pool underneath the falls. Then when we hiked it again in the rain this week, we saw 30+ newts before we even got to the pool! We’ve also gone on guided snake walks in Casper’s and had some really magnificent tide pooling in Laguna Beach.

At the Aerie with Yared, for Nathen and Reanna's wedding. You two boys cleaned up real nice!

There seems to be no end to fun stuff happening. The week before your 4th birthday we managed to go to Legoland, visit Rinconada Dairy for 3 nights, and celebrate a wedding in Joshua Tree. We’ve been so busy that if I ask what you want to do, these days you just want to stay home and play with Legos or go for a swim.

Swinging on a rope swing at Rinconada Dairy, up near San Luis Obispo.

A little quiet time at home is what we all need, I think. Though, I wouldn’t have missed anything we’ve done this year. How could we pass anything up? All the hiking with friends, trips to the U.S.S. Midway, and holding of baby ducklings and chicks?

Who needs Disneyland, when the friendly farmhand will give you bumpy tractor rides in the shovel?

You are so enamored with holding babies this spring, that for your birthday you asked to go to Zoomar’s petting zoo, where you happily spent hours holding and feeding bunnies and guinea pigs.

We normally avoid dairy, but I made an exception for this glass for fresh sheep's milk - only 10 minutes old!

I’ll let the rest of the pictures speak for themselves. I love you, Baby.

I love your exuberant zest for life!



Building bridges and dams in Forest Kindie at O'Neill Regional Park.

Even though we went every week, you never tired of holding the baby chicks at Jodi's house.

A Friday hike meetup at Aliso and Woods Canyon with your pal, Kyla.

A silly impromptu photo shoot with Bella.

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