Story by

Gaby Zamarripa

January 2nd, 2018

I came across a quote once that will always stick with me as a mom. It read, "If we want our children to flourish, to be truly empowered, we must teach them to love the earth before we ask them to save it."

My husband and I love the outdoors; it gives us a sense of peace in a world of chaos. So we made a commitment to share that same love and peace with our kids through outdoor adventures.

This year was the first time my son would get to play outside and truly explore, so we set out to discover the world around us – together. Though it was a world that I had known much longer than he had, there he was, teaching me to appreciate nature's beauty in new ways. His curiosity triggered a tool I had long forgotten to use – my imagination.

I soon realized that although I set out to teach him about nature, he returned the favor by teaching me the mystery and uniqueness of what real adventure offers. Trees suddenly became majestic creatures dancing in the sweet warmth of the sun.

Flowers perfumed the air and birds sang orchestrated tunes that brought about a feeling of instant bliss. His norm became spending the day outside, discovering and wondering about his surroundings. Now he doesn't think twice about walking through puddles, and I don't think twice about letting him.

He smiles from ear to ear when he crosses paths with creepy crawlers, gently observing them in awe. From backyard adventures to neighborhood trails, his connection to the outdoors and his sense of wonder are qualities I hope will keep him grounded, humbled, and motivated to change the world for the better.