Richard Louv’s groundbreaking 2005 book about nature deficit disorder, “Last Child in the Woods,” could have been written about my lovely niece Mary, except she was just an infant, and her fingers weren’t strong enough yet to hold an iPhone. When I flew from Yellowstone Country to New York for her second birthday, finger strength was clearly no longer an issue. That child had more electronics at two than I’ve owned in my lifetime.
Mary’s a city kid who is comfortable in cabs, knows her way around a museum and understands theater etiquette, but in her 13 years she has never jumped into a river, climbed a mountain, ridden a horse or camped in the woods. I find this troubling. So, for her 13th birthday, I bought her a plane ticket and convinced her parents that a full week in Yellowstone Country and the undivided attention of Aunt Corrie would be good for her.
Then I remembered how at 13 my demeanor was comparable to that of bull elk during the rut. When I wasn’t sleeping, I was eating or butting heads with my brother. What was I thinking? What would I do with a teenage city slicker?
Fortunately for me, Buffalo Bill’s Read More