I am in the middle of raising teenagers. And unlike their mother, these two particular teenagers don’t like trying new things. They would prefer to stay at home, lounging, playing Fortnite or whatever the latest game craze happens to be. As an introverted homebody myself, I understand their desire to stay home. But as a parent, it makes me feel bad that I’m not regularly exposing them to new experiences.
The holidays are a great time to take the family somewhere new. To have a new experience together. This past Christmas I bought tickets to the Enchanted Forest of Light at the Descanso Gardens in La Cañada. My family loves looking at lights during the holidays, and this seemed like a fun new way to do it.
I have this thing about talking up the experience in the days leading up to the event. If I’m excited, I want my family to be equally excited. They rarely are. Even my husband, who is normally so patient with me, gets a little tired of all of the selling I do before heading out the door. This experience was no different. I couldn’t help myself. I had two surly teens in the back seat who only thought we were going to look at lights at some garden. To them that sounded less than fun.
You know what happens when all the way up to the gate your teenagers are grumbling and mumbling and acting all teenagery and then suddenly they see how cool the place actually is? You get a big fat “I told you so!!!” You get a mama who is so happy and pleased with herself she simply can’t keep herself from saying, “See!!! I told you this would be cool!!!” Over and over and over again.
And it was. Very cool.
These pictures don’t do it justice. And it is hard to describe how cool it was. All I know is for an hour or so we are all in a state of awe and wonder. At times the boys ran and played like they were little again. We oohed and aahed as the electric tulips changed colors and I flipped back and forth between my iPhone and my nice camera, trying to figure out how to get the perfect low-light pictures. Afterward, we ate yummy Italian food and talked about all of the other things we miss in the city because we always choose to stay home instead.
Spring Break is coming up soon. I know there will be some pushback with all of the staycation plans that I am making, but I plan to remind the boys of the night in the Enchanted Forest and my guess is they will be a little more willing to go and see what wonder might await.