With all of the day to day things that crowd my noggin, I like the idea of tying a string around my finger to help me remember things. Today we donned our pink ribbons in honor of all of those who have died from and who are surviving Breast Cancer. I count myself as extremely fortunate to not be in either category but feel its very important to do what we can to help those who are. Usually each year we donate to one of many of our friends who do an annual walk and although we did the same this year as well, when I saw that there was a hike not far from our house I jumped at the opportunity to start a new family tradition. The super cool thing was that they setup a family friendly 2.5k walk perfect for first timers.
It was a serious hike through jungle, along hillsides and at times over small streams. I took the opportunity to spend a little individual time with each of my boys walking along side one or the other at different times. During the times when we all walked as a group we talked about why we were walking. The boys are aware of the fact that in the past we have just donated. I told them that today we would do something strenuous as a reminder of what cancer patients have to go through. We discussed what cancer was, treatments and research as much as we knew about it. We talked about not quitting when we got tired and of people not giving up hope. Each time their little bodies told them they were tired I mentioned how tough it must be to fight cancer, to go through the treatments and its side effects. I know that a beautiful hike in paradise through jungles and along sandy beaches is nothing like having cancer, but what I was hoping to do was teach them to have empathy. Every time they felt the fatigue we discussed how much harder it was for someone with cancer so that they could relate in a small way and understand how important it is for each of us to do what we can to alleviate that suffering.
The event was very well organized with two rest stop along the way providing us over heated hikers with much needed water and fruit. At the end of the hike there was even a jumper and other sorts of entertainment for the kids. After gulping down our water, because yes even in the early morning in Costa Rica is HOT, we enjoyed the beauty around us and were thankful to have participated. As my little monkeys played around, high above our heads a family of monkeys were playing too.