Oklahoma City family fun fuels imagination.
Every year, I look forward to Edmond Electric's Touch-a-Truck event, held at UCO.
That may seem like an odd event to look forward to and really love attending but I do and here's why: it takes place at the same time each year and marks just where our family is, as a family with three boys.
I believe that children are much more nature than nurture, more so than I thought before having mine, and these three seem to have arrived predispositioned to liking things that go: trains, cars, construction equipment, motorcycles.
Girls might love those too; I don't think it's gender-based but rather just what they want to see. I don't know first-hand because ours is a household of boys but as their mother, I know I enjoy getting out with them and seeing what we so often read about in "Dinotrux," "Bob the Builder," and "With Any Luck, I'll Drive a Truck."
What isn't nature is surely nurture and we have fostered their love of wheels.
Dump trucks, earthmovers, cement haulers: they're all there for kids to see, touch, get to know about. They can honk horns, sit in the drivers' seats of so many vehicles and just consider what's possible. Helicopters and bomb squad robots also sometimes make an appearance.
"Is this a diesel?" asked Isaac last year at age 3. It was, the driver confirmed. Isaac nodded knowingly. He's been paying attention, I guess.
It's like a field trip but with so many aspects of our community present and explained, from the role of police and paramedics to electrical and construction workers. They see more of what we often pass on the road, the people who are here to provide a service, help, share what they do.
The years go by and our family changes. We first attended this event when Sam was an only child, no Isaac yet.
Here we are with Sam and Isaac two years ago; I am pregnant with Gabriel in this photo and this Saturday, like past Saturdays, we'll come together again.
I like to think of traditions and how our family changes with the years that pass, the occasions during which we find ourselves doing the same activities with more people.
People often ask if we'll have more children, any girls. I don't know about that but if we do, they'll come right along with us.
It takes a village and we are a family in that village, complete with essential services. This Saturday's event benefits Edmond's Hope Center, which only reinforces the village concept.
We're all here together and what we need changes, year after year. One of the emergency workers we meet might be a friendly face someday. Imagining just where we'll be and who and what we'll need isn't always possible.
Sometimes, it's about meeting people where they are, whether that's in need of services or just wanting to learn about a truck. We'll be there, in any case, and hope you can make it too.