The Cow Hike

When I was a kid, my dad used to take my brother and me on long hikes through the woods and cow fields near our home. We called it the Cow Hike. We would set out after dinner to give my mother some peaceful time alone. We would find wild raspberries and moo at the cows. During the summer it was one of our favorite activities. What was strange about the Cow Hike was that every single time we went we would somehow get separated from my father. What was even stranger, though, was that we would often see him behind trees and such. Just for a fleeting moment we catch a glimpse of him. We would call out, but somehow he never would hear us. So, we would be forced to find our way home on our own. Yet as we approached civilization, he would reappear.

One night during dinner when I was a teenager, we were talking about old times and the Cow Hike. As I was thinking back, it hit me. I asked him, “You were hiding on purpose, weren’t you?” He smiled. My dad was testing us. He was hiding on purpose to see if we could find our way home without him. I was so shocked and angry, I didn’t speak to him at all the rest of the evening. The next day at school, I told my sad story of a cruel father to my friends.

Now, though, when I think about what he did and those long hikes, I find myself laughing and even grateful. The Cow Hike was a great bonding experience for my brother and me. We learned our way around those woods and fields. We learned to rely on one another. We learned not to be afraid when we thought we were lost.

I wonder what I’m doing now that will become my kids’ Cow Hike.

Laura Brown

Laura Brown is a stay at home mom of two little ones. She happily holds the title of CFO (Chief Financial Officer) of her family. She blogs about her money-saving ways at Blessings in Bargains.

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  • fatima

    This is so sweet, Laura. Thanks for sharing. A thought that comes to mind is that as a parent, I needn’t worry about my child being upset at my decision during one stage of her life. In a few weeks, or in your case, years, she’ll realize that it was for the best. A parent that can look beyond their child’s momentary tantrum is a great parent. Needless to say, me needs to work on that. :)

  • Maha

    Loved the story and scene from your childhood. I wish we could do that to our children today–let them wander in the woods and fields alone.

  • ummossama

    Reminds me of my childhood. I used to play in the woods and fields by myself. Sad that most of our children won’t experience that kind of freedom.. and sad in that this is truly the way to develop a love for Allah(swt) creation and thus know Him. I often think… how can we replicate this kind of free roaming for our kids…I went to the national Arboretum has lots of often spaces and thought what a nice place for kids…lots of natural space that kids could roam with an adult far i think that there are still places we can take kids so that they can get a feel for this kind of freedom.