January 21, 2018

Summer 2013: The Summer I Spent with my Girl in her Backpack

Alex Neill and baby girl hiking to Red Rock Falls, Glacier National Park, Montana Vacation Blog, http://www.montanavacationblog.com/

This picture means more to me than I can ever put into words.

The summer of 2013 looked just like this, a time of fresh air, miles under our feet, and sunshine on our face.  The summer I showed her everything the state of Montana has to offer her.

Future summers may hold different things.  She might be too heavy to carry, or might not want to hike, and we might spend next summer in the water, or sharing new experiences between mother and daughter.

But no one can take the summer of 2013 from me. The summer I spent with my girl on my back, telling her about the world.  Standing beneath the trees on the highest mountain tops, from Glacier National Park to Yellowstone National Park.

Where we picked flowers, and I told her she can be anything she wants and the world is hers to explore.  Explaining that I take my job as her mom seriously: my job to raise a grounded, humble, educated, open-minded, loving woman. A woman who I hope will be just like her daddy: a man who does not judge others, who does not compare himself to others, who puts his family first, who always takes the high road and always puts being kind to others first.

Where I told her I will love her no matter what.  She doesn’t have to be a lawyer like mommy and daddy.  She doesn’t have to go to college or graduate school, but it is important that she learns.  I told her that nothing is better than learning.  Learning about other people, God, cultures, faith, languages, computers, science, anything.  Anything she wants.

I told her that nothing will open her world more than traveling, meeting people, and learning about other cultures. There is so much out there for her to see and do, and I told her never to let anyone stand in the way of her dreams. The world is at her feet, and life is too short to not do everything she wants to do.

She might not remember a single minute of this summer. But that doesn’t matter.

No, this summer is mine forever.  A summer I will put in my memory bank of love.  A summer where my girl smiled bigger than I ever could have imagined.  The summer I spent with my girl on my back, telling her about the world.


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