The boy and I went for a walk on the trail this afternoon, just the two of us. Daddy was running behind and was going to take a faster route and meet us at a local burger joint (best fresh burgers in town! Arctic Roadrunner) for our monthly treat out.
I noticed the boy was a bit nervous and staying fairly close. Usually, he is bouncing all over the place. I asked if he was okay. This is how our tender conversation went.
The boy: What if a bear comes out of the woods?
Me: Then I will tell you to run and get help.
The boy: By myself? What will you do?
Me: I will stay and make sure he doesn't follow you.
The boy: (getting misty eyed) Won't you get hurt?
Me: Probably son. It's my job to protect you. You are the most important boy in my life.
The boy: Who would I get help from?
Me: The first person you see on the trail.
The boy: I wish daddy was here, he would fight the bear so we could run away.
Me: I'm sure we will be just fine, daddy is not that far away.
I choked up a bit, but had to think about which route to take this conversation. Could have lied and told him everything was peaches and cream. While I want him to maintain his youthful innocence, it is also important that he understands the wildlife here. It is literally in our backyard. He needs to understand the dangers and what to do when we encounter them.
We made it safe and sound, not a bear in sight. We did however, find a lot of salmon in the creek!