Raising Romulus and Remus
Today we were on a bush walk through a rainforest in Eungella National Park at the top of a mountain above the dry forest below. We were walking through the forest, enjoying the cool air trapped by the canopy, with a trail that wended its way through trees, vines, and large rocks as we headed towards a platform that was supposed to be optimal for a late afternoon platypus sighting. The boys were engrossed in Jay’s stories of Greek and Roman myths, intermixed with stories of King Arthur. I hung back behind the group (I’ve determined these slow meandering walks are a good time for mild calisthenics, but that’s another story…)
Generally I let my mind wander during these walks. Today I was thinking how far Lake and Finn have come in their hiking, which no longer requires a trail of M&Ms to get them moving past a kilometer. I periodically get pulled back into reality when one of the boys drops back to walk at yet a slower pace, but otherwise I am left to my own thoughts during these walks.
I clued in as they began talking about the creation of Rome. Lake eagerly added it was founded by twins (Romulus and Remus) who had been raised by wolves.
This got me thinking about the current point in the boys development. One of the struggles on this trip is how to immerse the boys in the outdoors – adventuring, getting dirty, feeling fearless while also teaching the boys good manners.
I imagine there is something incongruous about spending all their time outdoors, climbing, exploring trees, testing out whether the current cave is an echo chamber – and then suddenly (from their perspective) telling them to keep their voices down, that they are no longer allowed to pee outside, and these trees are not for climbing.
I find this balance a challenge and sometimes when the boys look at me like I might be a hypocrite, I think they might be right.
So upon hearing about Romulus and Remus, I am pondering a different thought process: Perhaps these boys being raised by proverbial wolves will not be limited from doing something great and even civilized, as a result of our adventure…after all, Rome was arguably the most civilized city of its time- even if this strategy looks a bit rough around the edges right now.