It makes me so happy that my children are excited about our project this year. That’s why I take their suggestions for New Experiences very seriously. Some requests will be difficult to fulfill. For example, Leah wants to raise butterflies this year, and my track record with animals and plants is nothing to be proud of. Some requests are impossible to fulfill. Luke wants to go to London and Paris this year, but that is not in the budget. And, some requests are downright strange. Luke really wants to visit a cemetery. I’m not so eager to try that one. So, when an idea is simple and attainable, I am more than happy to do it. Last week, Luke asked if we could take a ride in a convertible. Luckily, we have a friend who drives a convertible, so this request was easily fulfilled.
The kids were excited to get going, but we first had to strap their car seats in. If you have children, you know what a project this can be. I am a bit neurotic about car seats, so I won’t go anywhere unless the seat is completely unmovable. My dad jokes that NASA sent men to the moon with fewer restraints than my children have in the car, but I am not about to take a chance.
As we strapped the seats in, Luke and Leah talked about where they wanted to go. Luke tried to convince me to drive to my sister’s house, but a four-hour drive was out of the question. We were only driving around town. The kids planned a route past the library and the park, so they could appreciate the drive. I think they were also hoping to see some of their friends, and that their friends would see them in a convertible.
We were finally ready to go. As we pulled out of the driveway, the kids raised their hands in the air to feel the breeze. I tried to show them how to stick a hand out and tilt it so the air would force it up or down, but I realized their little arms were too short to reach outside the car.
As we pulled onto the main road, Leah started to complain that her hair was blowing in her face. Luke yelled that it was too windy. Within a minute or two, Leah realized sunglasses would shield her eyes from stray hairs, and Luke adjusted to the wind. They were back to having fun again.
When we reached our destination, I opened the door to get out. The kids had another idea. They climbed out over the side of the car. Luke was grinning as though he had just climbed a mountain. When I stop and truly observe my children, I marvel at their excitement over such small pleasures.
Later in the day, it was time to return home. This time Luke and Leah sat inside the car to watch the roof go down. The technology is pretty amazing, but to young children, it is practically magic. Luke said the car looked like a Transformer.
This was a simple experience, but it was a lot of fun for everyone. One thing I’ve learned this year is that an experience doesn’t have to be complicated to be a success.
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