By Brandy Black
I have started a five-week fall challenge with The Next Family and this week is “do something new with your kids.” It sounds simple, we do new things with our families all the time, our children are learning about new things daily but the reality is, it’s far too easy to get stuck in a rut. I sometimes wake and think about how I’m simply going to get through the day and the notion of coming up with something that is out of the routine is exhausting. But then I’m reminded of my childhood, the things that stuck out to me, that now decades later really built lasting memories. They were never Disneyland or Universal Studios, they were the simple things that broke the monotony of life. They were the moments that I realized my parents were actually fun people.
It was about my father waking us up early and saying we were going to have a “trip around the world day” that involved foods from different countries, a foreign film and going to a cultural fair. It was the day my mom decided to drive us to a new city to “explore” out of nowhere. Or the time my mom turned on a laughing tape out of the blue and kept it looping for 30 minutes while I tried not to crack a smile. It was when my parents let me do all the grocery shopping one week and pick the menus for our meals. I’m sure my parents didn’t realize the impact those times would have on me especially since I was fighting it every step of the way but I remember it now and am proud when I hit those parenting highs of my own.
So, I am challenged with stepping outside of my comfort zone, trying something new. What will that be? Will I choose to laugh when I would normally cry, will I wear my clothes inside out, will I take my kids to a new place, start a new tradition? I challenge you to come along this journey with me. Do something you haven’t done before. Drive a different way to school. Get up earlier, stay up later, break a reasonable rule. Be the person you were 20 years ago, embrace the spontaneity in life.
Fall is about change. Let’s do it and learn from each other!
Go to the beach in the rain
Play in the sandbox in the snow
Go on a long un-planned drive
Wear your hair a different way
Cook something different
Do a sleepover in the living room
Stomp in muddy puddles
Jump in leaves
And once you do this, share them with me so that I can be inspired to do the same.
Photo Credit: Underwater Constuction: Matthew Roth
Photo Credit: Puddler: Marc Milligan