When we were in Ixtapa, Mexico over spring break my husband got to check off an item from his bucket list: parasailing. This got our daughter asking, “What’s a bucket list?” We explained it’s a list of things you want to do or try or see before you die.
Avery got pretty excited and started writing her own bucket list, with pink magic marker:
I know it’s hard to read and the spelling is somewhat appalling (she is only in Grade 1 … still, maybe we should switch to a private school?) but here are some highlights (it continued on the back of the page):
- Hot air balloon
- Visit Antarctica
- Get a dog
- Visit a castle
- Raft through the Grand Canyon with my family
- Go to Mexico and dance on the table
- Visit a jungle in South America
- Ride a camel
- Get my ears pierced
- Go to China and eat dim sum
- Go to Disneyland
- Go to Africa
- Drive a car
- Climb a mountain (the highest one)
I am pleased there are so many travel-related items on her list, though I have to wonder how much was influenced by Blake, who kept suggesting ideas as he sipped on Coronitas. One of them (No. 6) was something he did back in university, which resulted in stitches at a Mazatlan clinic after he fell off the table and cut open his head (Avery loves this story). And I’m not sure when Avery decided to climb Mount Everest, but I guess it shows she has ambition and a love of the mountains.
When I was six I’m pretty sure I would have written down things like, “Lose a tooth and see the Tooth Fairy,” or, “Invite Elizabeth over to play.” It goes to show how today’s youth are being shaped by their parents’ tastes and TV preferences (exotic travel and The Amazing Race).
A recent “bucket list” story in the Globe and Mail listed 50 things a kid should do before they turn 12. Many of the items were simple things like “Climb a tree,” “Camp out in the wild,” “Bury someone in the sand” and “Climb a huge hill” — activities that should, arguably, be a part of childhood without having to legislate them onto a bucket list. But the point of the story is that many kids aren’t getting enough back-to-nature time. They’re stuck behind screens playing Angry Birds instead of feeding a real bird seeds from the palm of their hand.
So, even though Avery’s bucket list items are quite a bit more complicated than those in the Globe, I take comfort in the fact that she’s likely to climb a tree (in the South American jungle), camp out in the wild (in Africa), bury her brother in the sand (in Ixtapa — cross that off the list) and climb a huge hill (does Mount Everest count?). The only trick will be accomplishing these feats before she turns 12.
Do you — or your kids — have a bucket list? What’s on it?