Monday, April 12, 2010

Big Firsts

Do you remember your first bike? Your first roller skates? How about your first swing set? Many of us can remember these fun firsts—they were bigger, more important toys. These were the toys that lasted for years and had many memories created because of them.

This past weekend we bought our 4-year old son his first bicycle. What an exciting day! What started as a trip to the mall to replace worn out sneakers turned into an excursion to the sporting good store to look at bicycles. Until last weekend, he was riding a big wheel around in the driveway and on the sidewalks in our neighborhood, but it was just too small for him. So he is now the proud owner of a cool new bike and bike helmet.

He LOVES riding it, and luckily, he even likes wearing the helmet. When I was a kid, we didn’t wear helmets, but today is a different time. The fact that he now owns a bike is actually a very good thing for me. It means that I have to go on bike rides with him. It forces me to exercise, which is nice. Admittedly, pedaling around behind a 4-year old isn’t a workout, but it’s time outdoors in the fresh spring air. Yesterday afternoon I rode behind him around the neighborhood on his bike. He stops a lot, and for no apparent reason. Sometimes he tells me he is stopping for gas, even though I’ve told him a dozen times that bikes just don’t need gas.

Here he is on the new bike with the new bike helmet…with the new sneakers, too. I am looking forward to another ride this afternoon!

This morning another member of our Teardrop Eyes team told me about her weekend, which was equally big. Actually, it was much bigger. Literally! She and her husband did what my husband and I never dared to do.

They bought a swing set for their 2-year old daughter. And they decided to assemble it on their own!

“Swing set” really doesn’t accurately describe what they purchased. I’m not talking about a swing set with the A-frame and a couple of swings. “Play set” is the better term. It holds multiple children and can be crawled on. It has a curvy slide, a window box, a sandbox and a second story landing. Not for faint-of-heart parents, these mammoth creations are often sold with an optional set-up charge because toy stores know most parents aren’t brave enough to take on that kind of do-it-yourself project. They actually bought the set a couple weeks ago. After sealing every piece of wood in the set with weather sealer, they were finally ready to begin construction. They boldly started assembly at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday. Day 1 concluded around 11:00 p.m., and this was after a couple of trips to the hardware store to buy extra bolts that weren’t included in the kit. (Because if you’ve ever tried to put something of this scale together, you know there’s almost always something missing. And it’s usually something important, like bolts.)

She and her husband are still assembling the play set. They have the actual swing set part complete, but everything else is still under construction. Their 2-year old is getting anxious, too! See, she’s a Dora the Explorer fan, and Dora got a swing set, so she wants one, too!

Here she is posing with the play set as it looks now:

One thing is certain—when this play set is complete, she is in for a treat. As I said before, this is one of those toys she’ll remember for the rest of her life.

If you’re curious about what this play set will look like when it’s fully assembled, you can see a photo of it here.

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