Life with toddlers and preschoolers usually means you are never alone. They can be quietly playing in their room and you go into SWAT team mode to try and sneak off to use the bathroom or take an entire shower in the 30 seconds it takes the water to warm up! Just when you think you are in the clear, their little sixth sense kicks in (you know the one, that tells them Mom or Dad has been gone for less than 10 seconds) and you are instantly found no matter where you are! “Oh, I found you” or “I needed make sure you were ok” are the usual ways of their saying “you are never allowed to leave me out of your site for as long as I live”. Don’t you just love it?!
This isn’t about all of that fun parenting stuff, though. While my husband and I would love, just once, to be able to go to the bathroom alone, we honestly have included our toddler (now preschooler) in everything we have done as a family and it has been the best decision we have made. Why would we spend so much time and money on something he may never remember or only have little flashbacks through pictures? It’s simple, we do it for our memories too.
In his four short years on Earth, he has been to Disney twice for a week each time. He has been to Niagra Falls, hiked mountains in Vermont, rafted rivers in Connecticut, and explored the rocky beaches of Maine. He is soon going to enjoy a train ride out to the Grand Canyon to backpack and camp for a week. He has been to the Indy 500, Baseball games in Chicago, and multiple Colts games. He has been to the symphony and has been to a rock concert of his favorite band Imagine Dragons. These are just a few of the many things that he has enjoyed so far and we hope to give him more to enjoy as he grows. He hasn’t remembered all of it, but he has remembered enough and the money we have spent on these things with him have given his Dad and I memories that WE will remember every detail of for the rest of our lives. The memories for us to share with him are what makes it worth having these adventures together now instead of later.
My husband and I decided as soon as we met that adventures needed to be a part of our lives. We put a lot of time, effort, and saving towards the life we knew we wanted. We also wanted our little boy and he is the greatest adventure we could have ever dreamed of. It only makes sense that he is a part of everything we do to keep our adventure dreams going. To see his face when he saw the biggest waterfall he will ever see in his life was priceless to us. To watch him get excited over a yellow and blue fire hydrant in the mountains, and have him request to take a picture with it, will be something we will laugh about each time we talk about it. To remember that his favorite part of his first Indy 500 was spraying me with a squirt bottle full of water makes that event all the more memorable. To see the dance moves he created to his favorite song while watching the band play it live makes it all the more special when we simply hear his favorite song on the radio. To see his eyes light up in amazement that he saw the REAL Darth Vader and his Friends (aka Storm Troopers) made a world he only ever knew from a movie come to life and his dream of seeing them come true was an amazing feeling for us!
Our philosophy on life is that life is unpredictable, always full of surprises, and believe it or not mostly out of our control. What we can control is what we do as a family. We have chosen to do all of this together because it makes us who we wanted to be. Whatever you choose to be as your family, be it now. Now is all we are ever really promised anyway. Why wait to make adventures?! Life is about living and you are living your life with your family. Enjoy every precious second count while you can make memories that will last for all of the seconds you have together.
FYI, we also include our son in cleaning our house…he has his own dustbuster and he helps empty the dishwasher! I told you we included him in everything!