Being a parent is a wonderful thing. The responsibility of lovingly forming little humans, giving them experiences and seeing them dream and flourish is all a gift.
But parenting can also come preloaded with a weight of expectation. How do I compare to others, how will my children ultimately be prepared to compete with others and will they meet the cultural standards of success.
Challenging those cultural standards is for another post, but what of helping our kids or even ourselves dream and flourish.
I think a helpful tool toward a big or full life is little adventures.
We live in a time where experience is becoming an idol. We follow Instagram profiles that make money making experience look amazing. Maybe it’s travel, food, or you name it. Everything has to be just right for the photo so we assume it is amazing. And we end up trying to replicate it. Even beyond experience idolatry, we can be consumed with “going big or going home.” We think we have to make every moment over the top to excel at parenting. Every party has a theme and must outdo last year’s.
Where those things may be worthwhile occasionally, they can’t be the mainstay for parenting in the real world.
Our attempt at a solution for that? Little adventures.
Doing things that are not extravagant but new or with added twists to engage our kids.
A recent little adventure for our family was a train ride to the coast for a day of fun and being together. The kids devised a checklist of things to find looking from the train, we studied the transit schedule, we walked along a pier, had a picnic on the beach and played with new friends we met who were adopted from Eritrea. The whole day was as expensive as $2 train tickets and a round of milkshakes.
A little adventure that left our kids dreaming and scheming. All of us are a bit more “full” on our way to a big life.
What are some of the little adventures you can take? Maybe go to the top of that hill or visit that historic house. Engage and have some fun.
You might be surprised by what awaits you.