Because of that, we haven't spent too much time outside. The heat is dangerous for Will, and it isn't too good for someone as young as Matt either. But fortunately for us, the mornings have been tolerable recently, and we've been quite eager to use our new hiking backpack with Will.
Will's wheelchair, though kind of rugged, is not made for off-roading. Last year when we met Rena, Steve and Katelynn for a hiking weekend at James River State Park in Virginia, we tried to push it on some trails. It didn't do so well. We all decided to use the weekend for catching up on naps instead of hiking. I digress.
We packed up the van early on Saturday and headed to Umstead State Park in Raleigh. We parked near the big lake and got everyone situated: Will in the backpack with Nate, and Matt and Luke in the jogging stroller with me. We weren't sure if Will was going to like the backpack, but check this out!
Look at those smiles! Will loved every second of being in the backpack. We had his abdominal binder on to help his posture. And we had his DAFOs on his feet to prevent him from pointing his toes. He adored it. What a joy to see!
We hiked for about an hour. Everyone did well, except for me (still out of shape from my pregnancy!). At one point (ironically, just in time for us to pass like 5 other couples on the trail), Nate had Will in the backpack and was pushing Matt and Luke in the jogger. I was lamely bringing up the rear with nothing in tow but my wounded ego. Nate received many compliments suitable for someone of Superman status. What a stud...
So we're able to be a lot more active and mobile now that we aren't tied to pavement. Luke wants to walk most of the time anyway, and we've got the Baby Bjorn for Matt. With Will's new backpack, we feel like we've found a new freedom. Yay for activity! Yay for cooler weather! Yay for inventive parents who refuse to settle! Yay for adaptation! Bring on more outdoor weekends. We're making REI so proud.