A History Lesson That Pays Off
There is an expression that explains the importance of having had to learn history while in school, that it was important to learn history so as to prevent it from being repeated. And while the saying is probably intended for major events in national and world activities, it can apply to our private lives as well.
But just as learning from history to prevent bad things from being repeated, history can help us as a teaching tool to learn what has worked, was memorable, and definitely repeatable.
Today was one of those lessons that was worth repeating. This particular weekend is a dream weekend for me as a father. I get to spend the entire weekend with my daughters from the time I left work on Friday through tomorrow night. And I am taking full advantage of that time, which does not come often enough these days.
My daughters are at a very fun stage now in their lives, very active, very curious, and unfortunately for me as their father, very adventurous. But now instead of just trips to the movies or Chuck E. Cheese, they want other forms of physical and emotional stimulation. They want to be challenged. And for that, I refer back to my history of things that I liked to do as a child their age.
Earlier this year, I finally had them learn how to ski. My memories of learning to ski were a bit more chaotic, so I took the right steps for them, and had a professional teach them to ski, and it was positive for them, and they will continue to ski.
I recall all the wonderful things I got to experience being involved in music with various touring opportunities and now get to enjoy them as a spectator and supporter for my daughters in their performances. I got to sing at a lot of cool places, but never in a professional sports arena or for a professional sports game. My daughter did.
So today, I dug deep. It was a beautiful Spring day weather-wise and I was going to take full advantage of it. First, a picture with the Easter Bunny (for my daughters, not with me). Then it was a visit to my father and stepmother. And with being in that general area, I realized how close I was to a favorite childhood location, a wildlife preserve, now being called a zoo. It is not large like Philly or DC, but for two young children, they got to see a lot of animals and without the hustle and bustle of a major zoo. And with it being a preserve, the animals had a lot more freedom of movement. But of course, if you have been to one zoo, you have been to them all as a child. As we left the preserve, there were more exhibits with larger animals such as elk and bison, and then just as we left the preserve is a pretty decent creek and the only way to get across that creek is over an underwater bridge which kind of sounds like an oxymoron. But imagine this…
We have all seen the foolish people on the news who have tried to drive through flood waters to disastrous results, yet this is exactly what you will practically do as you drive through this creek. The bridge is underwater, but not in tunnel form. It is a platform about a foot and a half below the surface of the water, but deep enough into the creek bed. But kids love driving through this water. This was a simple pleasure for my children that I remembered.
With plenty of daylight left on this beautiful Spring day, I decided to take my daughters further north into the Poconos to a place called “boulder field”. It is a huge area of boulders that were pushed by glaciers thousands and thousands of years ago. What it is, is one of the nations largest free playgrounds with boulders to climb as far as the eyes could see. And my daughters wasted no time traversing the rock maze. I constantly had to yell to my younger daughter to slow down as she showed the most agility and with no effort at all, was more than two minutes ahead of my other daughter and myself. I recall how much I enjoyed climbing over all those boulders, visit after visit.
But my walk down natural memory lane concluded with a visit to the lake in that same state park. My daughter had mentioned about wanting to go to a beach, and I was able to give her that wish as well. In fact, for April, with air temperatures in the lower sixties, my daughters had no problem whipping off their shoes and socks, rolling up their pant legs and strolling down the beach into the lake.
This was one time, I can definitely say was a good time to remember and learn from history. I got to repeat history through my daughters’ eyes. Though I do remember how much fun I had, I got to see how much fun I had watching my daughters.
Take lots of pictures to relive those precious events in the future. Your descriptions of the enjoyable family activities in your life remind me of a Norman Rockwell painting that provides enduring images of happy well adjusted children who know there are adults who love and care about them.
My daughters commented on the way home from the Poconos wanting to know when we would make this trip again, and my youngest asked me again first thing this morning. One of my fondest moments knowing that in their childhood, I found something they enjoyed that I enjoyed in my childhood.