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Nature

Why We Hike

"Why do we have to do this hike?", complained my almost-eight-year-old son, his arms drooping by his sides. We had been hiking for almost two hours, had just conquered a half-mile 500-foot elevation gain, and still faced another mile uphill before reaching the summit.

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My husband, unable to stomach my son's complaints, put our younger daughter in the carrier and charged up the hill. I took a deep breath and silently asked myself, "Why do we make them hike?"

Walking beside my son at his...

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The Entitlement Myth

A few weeks into his first-grade year, my formerly sweet and relatively cooperative son began acting sassy, cocky, and entitled. Requests for help were met with groans and eye-rolls. Limits were countered with sighs and "whatever"s.

We gave him the benefit of a doubt: Surely he was just imitating his older classmates' rude behaviors. Or maybe this was a misguided attempt at being more independent. All my friends' children were acting the same way, so it was probably a developmental phase....

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Listen to the Waves

I set out on a cold Spring morning to comb the beach for sea glass. Although I patiently scanned the pebbles beneath my feet, I wasn't having much luck. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a stronger-than-usual wave approaching the shore. Not wanting to get my shoes wet, I turned and ran towards higher and dryer ground. When I stopped and looked down, I found four pieces of sea glass within inches of my feet! I laughed, picked them up, and said a silent "thank you" to the ocean.

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I wouldn't have...

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