Today I am thankful for completing childhood dreams.
Thanks to yesterday’s post I was thinking about something pretty awesome on and off since last night.
When I was a kid I wanted to be a paleontologist. Dinosaurs were, by far, the coolest and most interesting things ever. My parents got me an awesome Dinosaur encyclopedia that I read over and over again. I loved it so much that’s kind of been with me forever and is now on a shelf in Gavin’s room.
This page showed one of my favorite dinosaurs…
And in the book there was a picture of what I was pretty sure was the coolest place on the face of the Earth…
Sometime either before or after I read that I saw a short special on PBS (one of the FOUR TV stations we had as a kid) on Dinosaur National Monument. It was amazing, a wall of fossils that you could see up close and even touch! After I saw it I knew I HAD to go. Unfortunately, no amount of pleading could convince my parents to take me there. In their defense, look up where it is, there is NOTHING else out there. Oh yeah, and I had (have?) a habit of dreaming big and obsessing over new things every 6 months or so.
So fast forward to a few decades later as we’re planning our trip to Colorado. Becky makes a comment about how we should go. My eyes lit up and I got a huge smile, but then Dad mode kicked in. “It’s too far out of the way,” “It’d be a pain,” and “That’s a lot of extra driving” were amongst reasons why I said it was okay for us to skip it. Becky relented and knew how big of a deal it really was too me. I’m glad I caved!
So we drove a day or so out of our way specifically to see the place. I was just completely in awe.
This is what we were looking at, and the pic doesn’t do justice to the size of this enormous wall of fossils:
As the boys took off running to look at stuff I just stood there and couldn’t move. My eyes welled up with tears and I needed a moment to take it all in. While the place itself was completely unbelievably amazing, there was more to it. There was this awesomely surreal moment where I realized that something I had dreamt about over 30 years ago had come true… And it was even more fantastic than what I thought it would be. As I stood there Becky came up from behind me and started rubbing my shoulder. The smile on her face was beautiful. It was the smile of someone who helped someone accomplish one of their childhood dreams. I got myself back together and then we were off exploring.
Today I am thankful for accomplishing childhood dreams, it was an even more incredible feeling than I ever would have imagined. I’m also eternally grateful to Becky, of course for many reasons, but this one in particular has a special place in my heart. Even though she didn’t know me as a kid she found a way to see the child I was as I stood staring at the wall of fossils I’d always dreamt of seeing. She has a knack for bringing that awesome kid out in me and I absolutely love her for it.
Now I need to head off for Space Camp! 😉