When I was a kid, one of my favorite things to do in the whole world was going with my grandpa to peddle watermelons.
Not selling. Peddling. Selling is often fast paced and intense. We peddled. It was slow and laid back.
We drove around town in his little white pickup and did more talking than anything else. I loved it!
Paw would also give me a few watermelons to sell myself, which I did in my front yard. I would sit outside and try to sell them for 25 cents each.
I literally just sat in the front yard. I don’t think I ever even made a sign.
I always sold them though…every single one. There was one man…we all called him OJ…who stopped and bought them all for about four or five quarters. I could always count on OJ!
It wasn’t about the money, though.
Even then, you couldn’t buy much with a dollar.
No, it was about the experience. It was about hanging out with my grandpa. It was about getting out of the house. It was about doing something.
When I became a dad, I couldn’t wait to do the same types of things with my kids. Ride around town in the car singing and talking…you know, good ol’ quality time.
To my surprise though, that sentiment is occasionally met with some resistance.
“Does anyone want to ride up town with me?”
First of all, my kids have no concept of “going to town.” You can throw a rock to the grocery store from our house and hit a golf ball to the mall.
Plus, there are things to do at our house that I never had growing up.
My kids have 867 TV channels. I had four.
My kids have a DVD player, 50 DVDs, and 7 billion shows on demand. We had a VCR and no tapes.
My kids have access to two laptops, a Kindle, and countless toys. We didn’t have a computer until I was a little older and when we did, the internet was…dial up!
Don’t get me wrong, I had my fair share of screen time as a kid. I loved video games. And as I got older, that’s all I really wanted to do. I mean, I ruled Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt! And UP, UP, DOWN, DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT, RIGHT, B, A, SELECT, START still means something to me.
Looking back though, none of my favorite memories involve video games.
My favorite memories are the day my dad and I caught over 100 fish…
Driving two hours just to go to Chick-fil-A…
Buying roasted peanuts from this sweet lady who sat outside of the hospital and local businesses…
Going to town every single Saturday…
And peddling watermelons.
With that in mind, recently my wife and I started taking our kids fishing.
We don’t care about the fish though. In fact, most trips we don’t catch anything.
No, it’s about the experience. It’s about hanging out together. It’s about getting out of the house. It’s about doing something.
It’s about building memories.
If your kids would rather spend more time behind a screen than outside or if you consistently get a “No, thanks!” to your requests for company, push them out the front door!
Take them fishing, or to a park, or on a walk.
Take them to peddle watermelons.
Help your kids build the memories they don’t even know they want yet.
They’ll thank you later.
You know, I still love me some Super Mario Brothers. But, I would trade every second I ever played for one more watermelon run in a little white pickup truck.
I'd like to hear from you! How do you help your kids build the memories they don’t even know they want yet? You can leave a comment by clicking here.