It’s difficult to keep up with our teenage daughter these days. Once again, Michelle and I are alone (with Spice, the cat, of course) while Aly goes off on another outing. This time, it’s an overnight kayaking trip on the Chilkat side of the peninsula.Aly’s had a busy summer. It started with the ASRA archaeological dig. Lately she’s been attending the free youth program put on by a local guide outfit, Alaska Mountain Guides. They’ve had an overnight mountaineering trip up Flower Mountain, a “ropes course” trip to Skagway, with zip lines, rock climbing, and rappelling, and as I write this they’re on a two-day sea kayaking trip on the Chilkat side of the peninsula. The first day was windy and wet; the seas on our side, the Chilkoot side of the peninsula, ran about 3 feet or more, a little ambitious for beginner kayakers, perhaps, but today is sunny, and the water calm. Whatever the weather, I’m sure she’s having a blast.
We understand that we could have tagged along on these adventures; some parents have, and the young people heading up the kayaking voyage specifically asked us if we’d like to go along. Tempting, but an important aspect of these activities is the rare chance they provide Aly to get out with kids her own age, to be herself without her parents around. We see this as a key area of personal growth, a necessary aspect of her unschooling that’s hard for us to seek out and make time for. She’s always torn, saying she would like to have these experiences with us, but she sees our point, and always comes back thrilled that she had the opportunity to participate on her own.
As far as we know, after we pick her up this afternoon, any future adventures will need to be home manufactured. I’m sure will think of something!