My wife and I, being from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, refuse to have little Floridians who have never seen snow. So for the past three years, we've packed the kids into the Dodge Journey and headed to western North Carolina - the closest place to Florida with mountains and ski resorts.
This year, the forecast showed 50-degree temperatures and rain. An arctic blast complete with a foot of snow just the week before our arrival was bound to give way to the melting remnants of what could have been pure winter fun. Fresh off the road, we rushed to the little snow tube park after seeing there was some slushy snow still un-melted from the week before on a spotty webcam the resort uses to showcase current conditions.
Disappointed with the rough conditions, we pushed on. We disguised our disappointment from the kids, saying things like "we'll see if there's snow" and "if there's not, there are plenty of other fun things to do" - knowing full well that seeing snow was the purpose of the trip. Their new little snowsuits shipped just days prior from Amazon were in the back on hangers, tags still dangling from the sleeves as we worried that we may not get to put them to use.
When we arrived, you would have thought we pulled into Vail Colorado. The kids were pumped. Even the nice young girl with the North Carolina drawl at the ticket window warned that conditions were bad and we may not want to purchase the tickets. With two little faces staring in awe at the slush pile that a week prior was a snow tube run, we had no option but to give it a try.
You know what happened next? Upon hitting the "snow" the kids promptly dropped to the ground and made the best slushy snow angels I've ever seen. We had a blast. They couldn't care less about the bad conditions. They rode those tubes as fast and as far as they would go, squealing with delight.
To them, there was never a doubt that they would have a great time. They simply had no basis for comparison, unlike we adults who are tempted to frame most of our life experiences from times of the past. Instead, they enjoyed the moment for what is was, not just making the best of it, but enjoying it fully.
I wonder how many adventures we miss after talking ourselves out of it? How many opportunities pass us by as we spend too much time worrying about what could be? How many blessings go unnoticed as we look past them to the potential disappointment?