|My boy, Kai, is 5 years old. He was born in Yorkshire and touched gritstone within his first week post partum. Maybe that was the magic or maybe it was the fact that I buried his placenta in the forest above Caley, the snowy day after his birth (I forgot to remove the plastic clip and that and a chewy looking bit of umbilical cord were all that remained of a foxes meal when I returned a week later!).
Anyway whatever it was that got us off to a good start with him it probably also helps that we have a climbing wall in the garden at home, which he loves to play on, and that he's always been fully involved with all of our adventures since he came into our lives. He's been multipitching since he was 3 years old and has climbed in New Zealand, Australia, England and most recently California, where he was a joy on a month long climbing road trip. As much a member of the gang as any of us, he couldn't tie on enough.
A few other things that have undoubtedly contributed to his enthusiasm for climbing are: friends that take him seriously and have kindly welcomed him into our group as warmly as they ever treated me, a mother who is a passionate climber too and a life in which adventure is the real world and the rest is a means to that end.
I have also always invested in serious, excellent quality kit for him, whether that is his climbing gear, skis, snowboard, kayak, wetsuits or even bicycle. Money is always very tight in our household but what we do have gets spent on a life that is rarely ordinary.
I do sometimes wonder if he'll remember all of this because I can barely remember anything from before the age of 7 or 8!