We as parents are driven to give our kids the biggest, best, greatest of all things in this life. Usually that translates to big toys, big cars and big trips. Let me give you an example, though, why it is sometimes the smaller things that can be more rewarding when raising children.
Yesterday I took my oldest son to a small park to go sledding. We got our first descent accumulation and although the snow was not the ballmaking kind it did serve nicely for what we were about to do. I tied a rope to the end of the sled and pulled him over to the park, which was close to our house. He got to ride on his back "in style" the 2 blocks it takes to walk and thought that was pretty fun.
The hill we used as our "olympic bobsled run" was no longer than 50 feet and inclined maybe 8 feet. It just barely had enough incline to get us moving. But it didn't matter...in the eyes of my four year old, it was the Swiss Alps and our sled was the fastest in the land. He kept wanting to ride the sled backwards. He also loved eating enough snow to choke an elephant and loved hitting his "pa" with snow dust. By the time we left the park, his face was red and his clothes were soaked. We stay about an hour and he got back on the sled for the "ride" home. We laughed more yesterday than we had in long time.
The lesson I learned yesterday was to see life through his eyes and to create those experiences that he loves. I think, at the same time, I'm teaching him that spending time together is so very important. I didn't buy him a Wii and it wasn't a trip to Disney World that provided us such a great hour...it was a sled and small hill.