Drive north outside the city up into the mountains and you’ll find Adventure Park, a forested recreation area with zip lines in the trees, a giant bungee trampoline, archery and a spider web obstacle course. When a mom from the embassy organized a play date there today, I couldn’t wait! I arranged for our sitter to stay late with Violet, and it was going to be a fun, special outing for me and Liam.
Now I knew little Mr. Cautious might need a little nudging to get up on a zip line. Thankfully he’s still small enough to belong in the “Squirrels” group for the youngest set, ages 3-7, with an obstacle course only a meter off the ground. He wasn’t feeling tip top — he was still recovering from a 24-hour bug — but I figured since I had the sitter, we’d give it a try.
We started off easy with archery. They gave him a tiny little bow, showed him how to stand and how to hold it, then helped him hit the target. Robin Hood he’s not, but he still had fun. I explained how our last name, Fletcher, came from the little feathers on the back end of the arrow, called the fletching. He thought that was pretty cool. But his arms started to get tired near the end of his turn, so he was ready to move on.
Next up, the zip line!
They harnessed him up, gave him a little safety lecture, then asked him, with a grand flourish, if he was ready to fly.
“Not really,” he replied.
And with that lack of enthusiasm, he attempted the course. Bless his heart, he really tried to like it. After the short little zip line, where he hung on for dear life, he crossed from tree to tree, desperately clinging to the cables and insisting I hold everything as still as possible so he could make it across. At one point he panicked because there were ants! Giant black ants, mom! All over the trees! Oh, Liam. After twenty minutes he was ready to be done.
We took a little break at the refreshment stand, and it was here he declared he’d found his favorite part of Adventure Park.
Bubblegum Slushies. We sat in the shade, slurped our drinks, and watched kids bounce in the bungee trampoline. I asked if he wanted to give it a try, but no. “I’m afraid of heights,” he said. Heights and big black ants, it seems.
As we left I asked if he’d like to come back when he’s older.
“Yeah, maybe when I’m 17.”
Perhaps next time, in another couple of years, I’ll get a sitter for Liam and bring Violet instead.