When having a child you always desire experiencing their firsts; first word, first time walking, their first birthday, etc. As parents, we love watching our children take new steps in their lives and honestly they never do end, they just pause from time to time.
Baby stages are fun, because there are so many back to back firsts. For a child’s development, they must achieve these steps and stages, but on an emotional level of appreciation collecting these firsts are really for the parents. They won’t appreciate their first smile or the first time they said “mama” until they experience it for themselves in their future parenthood. As they leave the toddler stage, there’s not as many “firsts”, however, it doesn’t have to be paused there.
My son just turned eight years old a month ago, so at this point those firsts are slow to come by, but does not take away how amazing this age is. This year for mother’s day, I decided to experience some firsts for both, me and my son. Mother’s day is not about spas and being pampered to me, it’s about spending the day with the little person who calls me “mom”. My mother’s day transformed into a whole weekend event – not intentionally. I wanted to experience firsts that we could both remember. To him, it’s a trip of new adventures and to me it’s creating memories.
Mother’s Day weekend:
Friday night after school, we went to our favorite restaurant – don’t laugh – Applebee’s. He likes it, because it has the games on the table tablets. So no firsts there, no big deal, just enjoying each other’s company in a normal fashion.
Saturday: We both experienced a circus for the first time. Yes, I have never been to a circus. It wasn’t the big time Ringling Bros., but it was still a circus of flips, tricks, clowns, and camels. It was an interesting experience that we got to see together. Unfortunately, there wasn’t an elephant and the bleachers we sat on were a deathtrap just waiting to happen. So, next time, we’ll wait for the big time circus to come, however, we were still really glad we went!
Sunday: We got up early and took a 72 minute road trip to a state park of waterfalls and beautiful trails. And yes, I talk in minutes, because my son likes to know time by minutes. Honestly, he would have me do seconds if I was that enthusiastic, but I’ll never claim to be an overachiever. So, we went to Patapsco Valley State Park, where we experienced a 4 mile hike round trip for the first time. We both walked on a swinging bridge for the first time – DON’T LOOK DOWN! You have to appear braver than your child and it will bring out the little girl in you if you do this – I repeat DON’T LOOK DOWN. However, the best part was that we experienced seeing a waterfall for the first time. It was absolutely beautiful and amazing. I watched as the innocence and excitement grew outwardly from my child. He walked along logs and boulders. He threw rocks from the bottom of the waterfall. The sounds of his voice along with the fall of the water coming down the rocks. I sat on a log and just tried to take in the moment. In that moment, the only thing I could think was, there is nobody else I rather experience this with…Then we finally returned to our starting point, we had a picnic. I prepared a large amount of food and snacks. Then went fishing – or more like seaweed catching. After that, we said goodbye to our adventure and decided to grab some dinner. I wanted to eat at a local joint that wasn’t a chain restaurant. So, we ended up at this little café where our tables were made of Jack Daniel barrels. He had a nice big cheeseburger, I had a crab & shrimp pretzel and then we split a chocolate cheesecake. We never split our desserts, so oddly that was also a first and that will also be our last. I’ve never seen anyone completely destroy a slice of cake like that before. Also, I wouldn’t say that we split the cake, because he kept literally stealing my part of the cake right off of my spoon!
On my drive back home, I really started reflecting. I always admired the movie “Eat, Love, Pray”, where Julia Roberts decides to run away from life to go live in 3 different countries for a whole year and experience all of these wonderful different foods, art, culture and ways of living. Always made me madder knowing it was a true story. I always said well I can’t do that, for one my funds say “No way sista” and also, I can’t just drag my son to several different countries. Although, now I know, that doesn’t mean we can’t experience different and new things. Our experiences won’t be movie dramatized, but it doesn’t mean that they can’t happen at all. Our experiences will be wonderful, amazing and new for us, and beautiful because we experience them together.
There are so many new firsts out there, you just have to find them! So many experiences that cost very little money. My trip to the state park just cost sandwich & snack foods, $3 to get in the park and half a tank of gas. Take your children to many little experiences and save money for big experiences! Money isn’t an option when it creates memories. The key is to experience new firsts for YOU and YOUR children. Knowing that you’re experiencing it with them for the first time makes them realize it is that much more special.