When people argue against venturing out with very young kids, the argument often goes something like this: "She's not even going to remember it. Wait until she's older."
And it's true that, at 2-and-a-half, Alice is too young to remember any of the out-and-about adventures we have had so far this summer.
But it's also true that, at 2-and-a-half, she is plenty old enough to enjoy those experiences and, moreover, to be enriched by them.
I can help with the memories.
I tend to be a little sentimental when it comes to old ticket stubs and matchbooks and notes from friends - small things that remind me of happy times. I decided to gather up some of the keepsakes we've collected this summer to into a little memory jar for Alice. Something we can save and open up a few years from now, and a few years after that - whenever she wants to hear stories about what her family was like when she was very small.
There is the ticket from her first professional baseball game. She ate a warm pretzel and cheered for every hit, no matter the team.
There is a tiny packet of seeds left over from the vegetable garden we planted a few months ago - our very first as a family.
Some seashells from our visit to the Monterey Bay, and
Pebbles from the shore of Lake Superior - the lake was too choppy that day to skip rocks, but she spent a quiet 40 minutes simply tossing them into the water.
Her favorite purple sunglasses. Very Ooh-la-la.
And a penny I found while stopping for gas on our mama-daughter drive to Los Angeles. Three hundred fifty miles isn't really so long when you think about it. Still. It felt like an adventure, and if there was a little bit of extra luck left in our path, I was going to take it.