Sunday, January 1, 2012

Our New New Year Tradition

I don't think making New Year resolutions is all that important (not to say I haven't made some this year). But what I think is important and way more fun is to try something new on the very first day of a new year. It doesn't have to be anything fancy or pre-planned. Nor does it have to be something you've been dying to try. That'd put too much pressure on you to succeed and make it just perfect (or maybe it's just me being obsessive about stuff). I'm just trying to say that it might be better to do something on January 1st that's totally a spur of the moment, something unplanned for yet fun.

Now, I'm speaking with all this confidence, but in fact I only tried what I'm preaching here just once, today. But since it worked out really-really well and I now have 100% success rate, I feel I can speak with much authority on the subject. What is the subject, by the way? Well, it's in the title - family traditions for the New Year.

Specifically, the one unexpected thing we tried today was... But hold on, first, let me mention that it was a beautiful day outside - sunny and warm, with light breeze, very spring-like... So M and I went to the nearby park. There, after getting tired of the "catch-the-meteorite" game, I suggested we dig for treasure in the sandbox. And while digging, M found a cast-out part of some plastic toy that to him looked like treasure.

This gave me an idea and I asked him if he wanted to go on a real treasure hunt. Sure thing! So we quickly returned home where I printed out what looked like fun instructions to a random letterbox. Well, not so random, since we go to the park it is hidden in and M loves it there. So I figured, even if we the hunt turns out a total bust, at least M would get to play in this great park.

But no worries, everything went oh-so-awesome! At the park, I read out the clues and M searched for them. It was awesome, especially once we got off the trail. We felt really adventurous, 20 yards or so away from the footpath. It was M who found the letterbox. He was a bit puzzled that there was no "treasure" there, just a notepad, a felt-tip pen, a red stamp pad and a stamp. But once I explained to him that it was a big game of pretend treasure and we were supposed to use our code names instead of our real ones, he was game.

After replacing the letterbox and carefully hiding it, M wanted to continue searching for more treasure. So we walked all around the park, looking for rocks and sticks and examining quite a few fallen trees. Then we went down to the creek and M explored it for a while and collected some more rocks. He was curious as to where all these rocks come from. And let me tell you, I should had paid a lot more attention in geography classes years ago. At least I remembered that some rocks are igneous, others - metamorphic and yet others - sedimentary (although I think this came from me listening to some of his stories on CDs). Definitely, something for us both to find out more about.

Seeing how letterboxing was such a great success, I will try to make it a regular weekend outing now. But it's not a New Year resolution.

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