This week, I tagged along on a Stevens Creek Trail Toddler Trek, and it was a great experience. Veteran’s Day started off chilly, so before the hike, the kids were bundled up all nice and warm as they played on the playground, but as the hike geared into motion, the children took off their layers, and gradually, the river, which seemed too cold and muddy at first, became more inviting. Finally, during snack time, the toddlers were so excited that they scurried down piles of sandbags to wade in the river.
Although the kids experienced a variety of different activities on the hike, such as playing on the playground and picking berries, river wading was the one that stuck out to me the most.
Maybe it was because of the nostalgia I got when I saw the kids being so carefree. As a high school sophomore, it takes some time to recall the times when you were a toddler, when you didn’t care about anything — when it didn’t matter if your shoes were dirty, when it didn’t matter if you slipped and fell. There was always someone to take care of you.
Maybe it was because of the curiosity and amazement water fosters in children. For example, Gabriel clings onto his stuffed dolphin and shark for hours because he loves underwater creatures, an infatuation he got from visiting aquariums and playing with water.
And maybe it was simply because of the fun. Even though some of the kids bruised themselves as they crawled down to the river, their curiosity soon overcame them, and they pushed on. When they finally reached the creek, some of the kids took off their shoes. Some picked up branches and started prodding things. Some threw rocks. Whatever they did by the creek, the kids loved it, and they climbed back up smiling and laughing.
Whatever it may be, I know that the kids loved wading in the river and that I loved watching them. And I know that next time, I am taking off my shoes and jumping in with them.
– Elia Chen
Elia is a Monta Vista High School student who first worked for Stroller Hikes this summer, as an intern. Elia continues to provide digital support and articles such as these to Stroller Hikes. Thanks Elia!