Today my seven-year-old son came into my office and told me that Tenzing Norgay’s birth name was Namgyal Wangdi. Tenzing’s name was changed on the advice of a lama, who, as it was explained to me, is like a rabbi but dresses differently. The reason for the change was that Tenzing was a sickly child and it was thought a different name would do him good.
This is what it is all about – the unexpected moment when you are blown away. Sure, we had been watching “Everest” on the Discovery channel, and his group at school was reading about Edmund Hillary, but so much of what kids do seems like background noise to them – the main topics of thought and discussion are toys and video games.
Are we going to climb Everest this summer? No. But hiking up to 9,000 feet to the Cooper Spur on Mt. Hood is definitely on the list.