Cactus vs. Tree

Hello World!  Camden recently started sitting forward facing in his jogging stroller, and it's a different universe.  One where he gets to see more than just my sweaty, huffing face, which might be just slightly more enjoyable.

During our walks/jogs I've been pointing out all of the desert's subtle hints at spring: the air smells like wildflowers, the saguaros are a little fatter, hummingbirds zip around all over the place.  Spring seems so brief in the desert, as we all anticipate the coming summer heat.

Sometimes I daydream about Camden's childhood, filled with lush grass to roll in, cold streams to wade in, and towering oaks to build tree houses in.  Roy had forests to explore, as well as a beach with caves, tide pools, and miles of sand.  Think Goonies.  That was his life, the perfect setting for adventures and exploring.  Pretty awesome.  And then I wonder... if we stay permanently in the desert, will Camden be missing out?

And then I remember my own childhood.  I think of how we lived in the swimming pool all summer- sometimes Mom would even bring sandwiches out so we didn't need to go inside.  Our shoulders were brown, our faces freckled, our hair green-tinged from chlorine.  I think of getting the water hose out to cool our scorching trampoline, which always resulted in "rain showers" and "hose jump rope", even if we were fully clothed.  I think of exploring the sandy washes in the desert behind our house where we chased lizards and caught tarantulas to bring home to our delighted mother.  I think of Christmas afternoons where all the neighborhood kids ran outside barefoot in their pajamas to show off new scooters and Tamagotchis.  Where else can you do that?

We didn't know any different, and we didn't want it any different.  It was the best childhood ever!  Kids make do-I mean, we even had a tree house.  It may have been just a couple of wooden planks nailed to the trunk of a ten-foot, scraggly mesquite tree, but to us it was a top-secret fortress.  Kids only.  Very cool.

It wasn't grass or trees or a beach that made our childhoods awesome.  It was our parents.  We gotta do the same for Camden, no matter what kind of ecosystem we happen to be living in.

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