For Asher's 5th birthday he received, with much excitement, a sleeping bag, animal tracking book, emergency kit, including a pocket knife, whistle and compass, and some other hiking/camping gear that has now fallen from my memory. Then the poor boy had to wait ten months to finally use the cool gear on his first father son camping trip, which took place this week.
Sometimes Asher introduces himself to people as a toy maker, as in, "Hi. My name is Asher and I'm a toy maker." Other times, he's been known to boast of unique characteristics that set him apart from others, such as his ability to go without sleep for what may amount to years in his young life. But on most occasions, if you ask Asher what he wants to be when he grows up, he will answer, "A famous camper."
I should admit that my early reactions were to tell him that most people who make it in the news for their camping exploits are normally those unlucky fellows who die unfortunate deaths while out in the wild. To my defense, this first discussion coincidentally occurred around the time the the wreckage of James Fossett's private plane was discovered. (For my prosecution,of course, Fossett was flying a private plane, not camping, and although being a famous adventurer, I think a good deal of his fame is linked to the fact that he is a billionaire, so really, it is likely obvious to everyone that I was making a stupid argument, and more importantly and more stupidly making an argument against a little boys dream.)
Ok, now that I've established that I can be a moron, let me say that I do encourage Asher's dream and take him hiking often, and we have introduced him to the TV show Survivorman to spur on his passion and let him know it is possible.
Oh yes, and one more thing. One of the reasons that it took the boys so long to take their trip, besides cold weather and the usual work and procrastination, took place shortly after his birthday when Aaron introduced Asher to the mystery that is the North American Big Foot. Aaron was streaming some doc on the subject while working on the computer, and Asher was quickly drawn into the movie. He was full of questions after the experience. "What do YOU think? Do you think it's just a man dressed up, or do YOU think he's REAL?", types of questions. It wasn't until Harry and the Hendersons stepped in that Asher was confident enough to venture that far into the wild.
And speaking of Harry, yes, for those of you who witnessed Clover at Christmas, opening her very own copy of her beloved movie, she still is quoting him and George to this day.