Last night I sat watching my grandson’s baseball game. Six o’clock in the evening, in Ohio, there was still lots of daylight, and the temperature was hovering around 90 degrees. So, of course, my chair was strategically placed beside a huge tree that provided tons of shade.
It wasn’t long before the young children with us (two of my other grandchildren and their cousin) noticed what seemed to be a million lightning bugs tucked tightly away in the bark of that huge old tree. What squeals of joy and delight filled the evening as these little ones worked to coax the bugs out of their hiding places and watch them fly around.
This morning as reflected on the evening and the wonder on the faces of my grandchildren, I smiled as another memory popped into mind.
I was walking down the streets of New York City with my grandson who was about five years old. His family had just moved to the area from the rural Midwest. This was his very first trip into the city. As we walked, his head moved all around and his eyes took in everything. People, noise, hustle and bustle, buildings that seemed to reach to the sky – at one point he looked up at me and said, “Mimi, this doesn’t look like (name of the town they had moved from).” To which I simply replied, “Well, Sam, you don’t live in _________ anymore!”
Thinking it Through
I think it’s safe to say that the childhood being experienced by our grandchildren is markedly different from our own.
- Where did you grow up?
- What was your family’s lifestyle?
- What do you remember enjoying as a child that your grandchild has never experienced?
And even among our grandchildren, it is often true that life experiences differ vastly.
- Does each family unit live in the same region?
- Are their lifestyles similar?
- What “wonder-generators” has one family experienced that another hasn’t?”
As I think on this today, I want to begin a Bucket List for my grandchildren – experiences I think would evoke squeals of joy and a face aglow with wonder.
Grandchildren’s Bucket List
Catch lightning bugs
Play Kick the Can
Wade in a creek
Swim in a lake
Play underneath a waterfall
Visit the big city – walk along streets of skyscrapers
Take the subway
Travel by train
Ride in an airplane
Take a boat ride
Spend time on a beach – play in the ocean, collect seashells, build a sand castle, fly kites
Visit a National Park
Tour Washington D.C.
Hike a trail
Climb a mountain
Visit an amusement park
Go to camp
Visit an orchard – pick fruit
Set up a lemonade stand
Ride a bike
Ride a horse
Slide down a water slide
Attend a professional baseball game
Sled down a huge snow covered hill
Roll down a big hill
Enjoy a local carnival or festival
Visit the state fair
Attend a concert or play
See a movie at a drive-in theater
Grow a garden or take care of a plant
Milk a cow
Watch for shooting stars
Explore a cave
Climb a tree
Make mud pies and daisy chains
Learn to whistle
Take lessons – dance, instrument, art, swimming, horseback riding, etc.
I’m sure I’ll add to this Bucket List for my Grandchildren as I continue to think on it and as others offer suggestions. How about you? What would you add to our Grandchildren’s Bucket List?