Making heading into nature a regular habit takes purpose and focus. Add in small children, and you just amped-up the amount of planning you have to do before you can tackle any big adventure. Have differently abled family members who require extra care and consideration? The challenge just got even bigger — and getting outside just became even more worth it.
It’s that juxtaposition that Melody Forsyth, a mom of four, discovered after her daughter, Ruby, was born with Down Syndrome. While the experience of Down can span a broad spectrum, Ruby, now age 5, is nonverbal, uses oxygen overnight and can only hike short distances. Still, it was her birth and learning how to care for her that first pushed Melody and her family into nature to find calm and adventure.
The family now backpacks together with one parent typically carrying Ruby, explores National Parks and other wild spaces and makes an intentional habit of spending time together outside not just in spite of their challenges, but because of them.
It’s that experience of watching Ruby and each other grow and discover their own interests and abilities outside that inspired Melody to start her Instagram feed, DownWithAdventure. There she shares her family’s journey to connect in nature and raise awareness around Down Syndrome.
But chasing big dreams in nature doesn’t come to Melody’s busy family without some really careful planning, factoring in the needs of all of her children and each of their special interests — not just Ruby. In today’s episode Melody gifts us insight into not just how she makes it work, but how you can, too.