I've been experiencing things through a new lens lately. Take this weekend as a prime example. We were at a hotel visiting one of David's friends. Across from the hotel in the mall parking lot was a little carnival with a Ferris wheel, bumper cars, etc. I asked David if he'd ever been to one. He said he hadn't. Where he was in Nigeria, this wasn't a common thing.
I remember going to the St. Lawrence county fair each year with my family. I was in 4-H and the FFA. I entered things into the fair for ribbons. Funny, my woodworking got an honorable mention, yet my chocolate chip oatmeal cookies got me a blue ribbon. I was excellent at tree identification and wildlife identification, but terrible at cattle judging and cow showing. My parents always managed to find enough money for us to try out the rides. I've never been one who liked crazy rides much. In fact, I remember one time when I was so upset (this probably happened more than once) that I screamed until they stopped the ride. It was the scrambler. As I got older, I found that my fear and upset stomach didn't get much better. I was able to conquer it and try things like the viking ship and roller coasters, but never enjoyed them. I'd rather go bungee jumping or sky diving than ride most fair rides.
I decided that David and I should check it out. He saw the "Samurai" which looked an awful lot like the viking ship of my youth. It swings all the people in a big row of seats back and forth many times until it completely rotates you up and upside down and over. He wanted to try it. I knew that it wouldn't do me well. We chose to start with the bumper cars. I could honestly ride them all day. They are so much fun. We then went to the UFO (it was the "gravitron" of my youth). I enjoyed both of them. Then David's friend came and they both decided to try the "samurai." We bought the bracelets that give you unlimited rides. We had both noticed that every time the ride went up, stuff fell out of it. I had David and his friend empty their pockets. The yelled the entire ride. David looked green when he got off. His friend wanted to go again. We tried some other calm rides, and then I went on another spinning ride with them all. This was the "straw that broke the camels back" for David. He ended up emptying his stomach into the nearest trash can. He wasn't upset. It was all a part of the experience. We decided to stick to the merry go round, bumper cars, and fun houses while his friend went on the crazier rides. All in all, we laughed a lot and had a good time. Next time, I think he'll stick to the calmer rides with me.
On Sunday, we went to the Aquarium. David had never been to an aquarium. I've been to a few of them. His favorite thing..."the fact that all of the fish lived in the large tank without eating each other." He also loved the sharks in both their separate tank and in the big tank.
We've had this experience over and over again this year. There are things that I've done, but get to treat him to because he hasn't seen them.
I'm reminded to be thankful for my parents. Even when money was tight, they always found enough for my siblings and me to try new things. We were encouraged to try different foods, the appreciate museums, and to see each experience as an adventure. I also had two teachers in high school who encouraged me to try new things, Mr. Jack Smith and Mrs. Susan Burwell. Both of them wanted us to see and experience the world. Both of them taught us that exposure to knew things was ming blowing. I'm also grateful for my sister, Kim. She was the oldest and the first to explore. She traveled, tried new things, and brought them back to me and my twin when we were little. She inspired us to travel and be adventurous.
The world is still full of places I haven't seen, foods I haven't tried, and adventures to be lived. I hope that you find your adventure. Thank the people who provided for you to have your own adventures and encouraged you to explore.