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Reflections, Travel Necessities

Why I’m Sold on Traveling as a Family

Our vacation is coming to an end, and it’s so bittersweet. On one hand, I’m starting to look forward to going home and going back to our usual routine; and on the other hand, it breaks my heart to go back to routine because that means I’ll be seeing my son less again (and let’s face it, Paris is a little more exciting than going back to work).

 

There’s things people don’t quite understand about going on vacation with a kid. All I hear are complaints or concerns. “Why? He’s not going to remember.” “What if he doesn’t adapt to the food?” “What’s the point?” “Doesn’t it cost more?”

As I lie here in bed, staring at my sleeping little guy, I have some solid reasons as to why this trip answered those questions perfectly for me, and why it has been the best thing ever.  Here we go…

 

1) “Doesn’t it cost more?” Yes, it does cost more. It’s kind of negligible for us, and this is why. Before we even went on this vacation, I knew that my boy was always at his happiest when both Tristan and I were home. He felt complete. I felt that during this whole trip from him, and even if we didn’t go somewhere as amazing as Europe, giving him both of our time anywhere has no price tag (as long as we can afford it, of course).

2) “What if he doesn’t adapt to the food?” Adapting to food anywhere is always a concern with a growing child, but I want to try to teach him that it’s always ok to try everything at least once. There were a few things that were trying, but towards the end of this trip, he would start letting food touch his lip, which he would then lick and taste before giving us a nod of approval (or not). That’s huge! I don’t get many opportunities to teach him this when we’re home since we have home-cooked meals most of the week, and they’ve typically been familiar ingredients and smells to him. It’s helping to teach him about adaptability.

 

3) “Why? He’s not going to remember.” The biggie. I get it. My son isn’t going to remember, but you know what? I don’t think making grand memories with your child should come to a halt simply because they won’t remember. Taking him out of the norm and experiencing new things helps them learn and grow immensely.  Not to mention, I will remember when he ran around chasing giant bubbles in the park in Barcelona screaming with glee. I will remember when he ate half of a giant plate of fries and salmon with a fork in Paris, his first proper meal at a fancy restaurant (proud mom moment). I will remember when he picked flowers for me at the park outside of Buckingham Palace. Which brings me to point #4, the BIGGEST point…

4) “What’s the point?” He was growing, advancing, and experiencing SO much. I can’t even put into words how I feel about this.  It really made me feel like I’m not missing out as a working mother, and that I’m giving back all the time I missed by giving him so many new opportunities to learn and grow with me right there to lead him. I honestly feel that it has made him more eager to learn and even be more sociable because of all of the different people and experiences he has encountered.  It’s all a win-win situation in my book.

 

I’m getting a little weepy…

Our cab driver on the way to the train station on the day we were leaving London put it very honestly. We told him in a somewhat bummed tone, “Yeah, he probably won’t remember this trip,” and he stopped us. He said (something along these lines) “Are you kidding? Kids have the time of their lives on vacation. Their parents have less worries, less errands, less problems. All they have to worry about is their vacation. He won’t remember, but he’s having the time of his life because his parents are less stressed. Vacations are not just good for parents, they’re great for the kids too.”  He put this into words that made it so relatable and true for parents of kids of any age.  I realized that’s how I felt too when my parents would take us on vacations while my siblings and I were growing up.

This morning, Dominic and I were in bed while Tristan was getting ready in the bathroom.  D and I have silly conversations quite often with me pretending like his baby babbles are complete sentences.  He responds like he understands (and I’m sure he does most of the time – I just don’t always understand what he’s trying to say yet), so I love playing along.  He was sitting up while I was lying down.  The conversation went something like this…

Me:  Dominic, we’re going to be going home soon.  Are you excited?
D: *big smile* baby babbles
Me: We’re going to eat pho when we get home.  You love pho.  It’s so delicious, huh?
D: *big smile* *nods* baby babbles *puts hand on my arm*
Me:  You know, that also means mommy’s going to go back to work too.
D: Nooooo AHhhhhh *throws himself onto the bed as if the world is ending* *crawls and snuggles up to me*

He’s very dramatic, but I just about died when that happened.  My heart broke a little and grew a little more at the same time for this kid.  How that’s possible, I don’t even know, but I’m SURE any mother would understand.  What the cab driver said was true.  Little guy really has been having the time of his life.

So, there you have it.  Maybe you’ll think I’m nuts or maybe you’ll be enlightened, but I’m sold on traveling with my kid.  I’m sure the list of reasons (and questions) will grow as D grows older, but that’s a learning process we’re happily welcoming.  I have to say, I’m going to really, really miss teaching and learning with him 24/7.  These past 2 weeks have been such a joy for myself, my relationship with my husband, my relationship with my son, and our relationship as a family.

Is it time to plan the next vacation yet? 🙂

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