The other day my wife and I took the kids bowling. We had an amazing time, and neither of us are that into bowling.
At age four and eight months, neither one of the kids had been to a bowling alley before. This was a saturday afternoon, and there were only about a half-dozen lanes open. The place was hopping.
The beauty of it, was the awe and amazement from the kids. Both were wide-eyed and energized from the experience. From zig-zagging the ball down the lane off the bumpers to the crash of the pins and the action of people, both seemed to thrive off this new experience.
This is the most amazing thing about kids: being able to see the world brand new. There were no judgements in their eyes. They just loved being out there in the world and in the action.
One of my goals as a parent is to offer this to my kids and to myself as long as I am alive. New experiences not only help the individual grow, but they bring people together. The world has so much to offer.
And the truth of the matter–the truth that I sometimes have a hard time believing–is that everyday is a new experience. It’s easy to get swept into the rhythms of life and feel like you may be repeating yourself over and over. But today, no matter if you read this when posted or years from now, is a new experience that has never happened before.
I easily forget this unless I am doing something new for the first time, like take my kids who have never even touched a bowling ball out bowling on a Saturday afternoon. (I must also give my wife credit as this is what she chose as her birthday celebration.)
But I’ve found ways to inject this newness on a day, without having to travel to foreign lands or go somewhere new:
- Try a new food, like something off the Korean menu you can’t even pronounce.
- Clean that closet you’ve been meaning to get to for a long time.
- Invite new friends over that you’ve never entertained before.
- Exercise. I was going to write try a new exercise, but this doesn’t even have to be that new. I find exercise in general freshens my eyes to the world.
- Be vulnerable. Share something that is bothering you or difficult for you.
Keep fresh eyes one whenever you can, for the kids’ enjoyment and your own. The longer I am able to stay in this state, the more open I am to life’s experiences.
I think about the value giving my kids the interest and openness to try new things, and that is something that is priceless. This is also something that any parent can give to their child, no matter the socioeconomic background.