Driving was not how I’d liked to have reached the summit of Mt. Ibuki on the border of Gifu and Shiga prefectures but hiking up with 14kgs of daughter in a 2kg kid’s carrier backpack, with a camera and 1.5 litres of sports drink in 30°C heat wasn’t really an option.
A few years ago my wife and I failed to reach the summit when the weather got the better of us. It was cold and we were underprepared. We were hiking novices, just finding our feet, and I remembered the story of a good friend and experienced hiker that got into serious trouble in the snow on Mt. Ibuki and thought it would take his life. Luckily it didn’t but we weren’t prepared to risk it so we turned around.
Fast-forward to today and we have to be even more risk averse as our daughter’s well-being depends on us (although there was little chance of us getting into trouble in such glorious weather).
I’ll never know for sure but adopting a child makes me feel more protective and responsible for her than if she had come to us naturally. Her biological mother (and child welfare) have forever laid their trust in us keeping her safe and healthy and I regularly find myself thinking about that responsibility.
When I get away alone I try to get as far away from others as possible but over the last couple of years I’ve been coming to terms with the responsibility I have to her and have accepted that sometimes the easier, more tourist-friendly option is best even if it leads to less solitude.
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