Being Everest

Pretending to be a Siberian husky to my 8-year-old is something I never thought I’d treasure.

Any parent to a young child will likely be familiar with Paw Patrol, a cartoon about six dogs saving the day at Adventure Bay.

T has outgrown this show, but one character has stuck with him: Everest, a Siberian husky that first appeared in Season 2.

A day often doesn’t go by without him asking me, “Papa, let’s play Everest.”

Playing Everest is T’s code for “let’s hang out.”

It often involves pretend play, stuffed pets and building a fort. Frequently, he incorporates things he’s thinking about – like his Aunt’s recent death – into the play.

It could also be simply just us sitting next to each other and talking.

It amuses me to think of T imagining me being a husky. He often corrects me when I break character and says I’m a dog, not a human.

Playing Everest could take place indoors or outdoors at the park or playground.

We live in an old 1960s home and since moving in four years ago, we’re slowly saving up to renovate.

In the meantime, our unfurnished living room is an empty canvas for T to bring to life with his infectious creativity and endless imagination.

I once read that kids don’t ask you to talk about things; instead, they ask you to play with them. And this has always stuck with me.

I know T’s days are filled with ups and downs at school, on the bus and at daycare – and it is often painful for me think of about this.

So I try my best to make time to be Everest, even when I myself feel drained and need time to myself.

I treasure these moments, because I know childhood flies by and it won’t always be like this.

I especially value these moments, because these are the moments in each day when T is at his purest, kindest and joyful best.

It balances the moments when he can be moody or disregulated.

At a recent team building exercise at work, my colleague led a session about the importance of reflecting on the things that bring us joy.

Each person was asked to talk about one thing that brings them joy.

I chose being Everest and when I spoke about for the brief minute I had, I felt joy and gratitude.

As the Paw Patrol would often say, “No job too big, no pup too small…”

33 thoughts on “Being Everest

  1. Love this – and thank you for the reminder: that asking to play is actually asking to let’s hang out… I spend a lot of time with my grandchildren and say yes to play now WAY more than I did as a parent…

    1. Thanks Vickie. 😊 I hope you keep enjoying your play time with your grandkids. Must be nice to get to hand them back at the end. 🤣

  2. I used to follow your blog, and I’m so glad WordPress recommended it again! It’s so great to see you all doing well 😊❤️ T was 5 or 6 last time I read this blog. How lovely 😊 These days, I’m also familiar with Paw Patrol!

    1. If you’re who I think you are – loves all things K-Pop, calligraphy, and ramen – it is very nice to hear from you! Sounds like you’re a mom now too. That’s amazing and congrats!

  3. It’s very cute that T has a code phrase for wanting to hang out and play with you. And it’s great that he uses that time to work out some of his thoughts and feelings. It’s also amazing that you recognize the importance of these moments. It sounds like T enjoys these moments too and will probably come to cherish them even more as he gets older. Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Thanks Linda. Today, being Everest was about taking a trip through Jurassic Park and he was the rampaging T-Rex. 😆 Hope you are having a great weekend too!

      1. At least he keeps it interesting and it’s not the same storyline every time! We’re currently in Washington at Olympic National Park enjoying the mossy tall trees (not so much the rain though).

  4. This reminds me of my childhood with my late father. My mom said whenever he came back from work, I often asked him to be a goat… for me to ride on. I remember the riding part, and it was fun! But what I didn’t know was how tired he often was. I believe T will remember you being Everest for the rest of his life.

    1. That is such a sweet memory, Bama. I can see why that stuck with you up until today. I hope the memories of playing Everest do last for T too. 😊 Enjoy your weekend!

    1. T loves Peppa Pig and still does! He wants to visit London one day to see them. 😆 I’m not familiar with the other two so I’ll look it up now.

  5. So important to listen and look for the clues that kids give when something in their life needs to be sorted out. Perceptive parents, like you Ab, learn to lean into those moments. Sounds like you’re proud to be called Everest as you should be 🙂

  6. For you, it is Paw Patrol … for me, when granddaughter Natasha (also a special needs kid at that time) was young (she’s 28 now) it was Rugrats! I always got to be Chuckie, while she was Tommy. And Mario … I’m Mario to this day, and she is Yoshi. Great memories you are making with T … someday you’ll look back and remember these as the best of times. T is one lucky lad!

    1. I remember Rugrats growing up and I do love Mario and so does T. We just watched the new animated movie. I love that cartoons can be timeless and transcend generations! 😊

      And you’re so right Jill. These are the moments that I will treasure the most one day.

      1. I haven’t seen the new Mario movie yet, but it’s on the ol’ bucket list! Goose and I still play Mario Double Dash every now and then when her mom is out of town for a band performance!

    1. I love the idea of cartoons or kids shows that impart life lessons to kids. And that these childhood memories make a permanent impression on them and one day impart it to their own kids!

    1. Congrats Margie!!! 🙂

      Apologies if you’ve shared this and I forgot but this is wonderful news and wishing you, your kids and your grandson all the happiness. I imagine it being so much fun but minus having to keep them permanently. 😆🤣 Good luck!!!

  7. I was thinking of that same wisdom about kids not saying they had a hard day but instead asking to play. You are so wise to play, cherish it, and even cultivate the joy in it, even when you need to recharge. It’s so hard to do!! You are such a good parent – and a great inspiration!

    1. Thank you Wynne. Yes, kids tell us things in their own kid way and I’m thankful to take those moments to lean in.

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