I tend to look forward to what’s next as opposed to wanting to freeze my kids as they are.
That is why I love firsts so much.
The first poop (yup), the first object grasped in their fist, the first pass of an object from hand to hand, the first laugh, the first step, the first word, the first “no” used in proper context, the first timeout, the first day of daycare, the first drawing made for daddy, the first writing of their name, the first soccer practice.
The first time he came on the family camping trip with me; a camping trip I have been going on since I was 3-years-old.
I can’t get over this stuff.
That is why just a few short weeks ago when we went to Story Land (an amusement park for kids), and these firsts came at me in such rapid succession, I nearly lost it. I’ve been on small rides with my 4-year-old the summer before, but Story Land had both small rides, big rides and (obviously) the stories to go along with all of them.
Anything with the 19-month-old. The ball pit was hilarious. If you haven’t picked up by now, the little guy is somewhat of a nut. He hasn’t met a wall he didn’t wanted to walk through. The ball pit though? Oh no. He was like me testing the pool water before that first Spring swim. Little by little though he made his way into the ball pit.
Mainly just so he could throw balls out of the pit, but that’s our boy.
The teacups were pretty amazing. The Mad Hatter, whose character will forever be tainted for me after watching Once Upon A Time this year, was the host of this ride and I would say it was the first “spinny” ride for both of the boys. The 4-year-old and I rode first after the little guy threw a fit and went off with Mommy, but sure enough as he watched us go around and around he threw an even bigger fit.
He was right in the mix the very next ride and even demanded, “Ahgen.” We complied, and after another spin around the Mad Hatter’s ride, the next fit was about wanting to stay on the ride.
There was a pirate themed area next, and the boys loved playing hide and seek in the playground made of pirate ships – complete with planks, hulls, decks and even look-out towers. There were even water canons to help deal with the dangers of a pirate’s life. But, the first here was the real ship.
For the first time as a family we braved the “high seas” on a pirate ship in search of the infamous Blackbeard’s treasure. When we actually found him, the 4-year-old’s eyes lit up in terror for a few moments until we explained to him that it was all for fun (again), but in the end good times were had by all.
The next first was my favorite – my first roller coaster ride with my oldest boy. There was something weird about this that I can’t quite explain. Maybe it’s that roller coasters were always a very individual thing. Sure I may have glanced over from time to time at a buddy sitting next to me, but for the most part I was engrossed in the thrills of the ride all by myself. But this time, on the adorably named Polar Coaster, I was enjoying the ride through my son’s experience. Hard to explain, but it was definitely the coolest part of the day.
We enjoyed many other rides, attractions and firsts together as a family that day along with another couple and their child, and next year we plan to recruit more friends to join in the fun.
Until then, I’m cherishing those moments we had a few weeks ago and will hold off on the development thing for just a few more days.
This article originally appeared on Chelmsford Patch on 6/23/12.