Dispatches from the Road (2)

It’s been three weeks since we left our house and hit the road for our summer adventure. And while I think it’s safe say we are all longing for our own beds and our own kitchen, it’s also safe to say that we are travelers. Deep down. On the road we are in our element. Even our nearly 3-year-old who doesn’t care much for sleeping in the car seems excited to go to every rest stop, every gas station, every new place with new faces. Unless the toilets in the bathroom have automatic flush, in which case she will scream with a terror normally reserved for people being tortured.DSC_2747

There will, inevitably, come a time when she has a stronger concept of time and a stronger sense of self and tears will flow when we leave her far flung family and friends for yet another year of distance. But for now she is like a zen Buddhist monk who accepts every change with grace and smiles at every new opportunity despite what we leave behind. Her example, for me at least, makes saying sad goodbyes a little less sad.IMG_0641 IMG_0668 IMG_0675

Sometimes people ask me if I think all this travel and transition is hard on her. From country to country, family to family, state to state. But I don’t think so. Like all things in parenting, I can’t  be sure. But while she may never quite know where we are headed (“We are flying to ‘Pan. We are driving to Denber.”) she always seems comfortable and confident, and she still young enough to see us as all knowing, all powerful and she trusts. Trusts us. Trusts it all.IMG_0684 IMG_0686 IMG_0714 IMG_0689 IMG_0691

Sometimes people ask me if I think all these trips and this travel is wasted on her, since she is too young to form memories of a Shinto shrine or a Manitoban prairie sunset or the majesty of the Rocky Mountains. But I don’t think it’s wasted on her because she has a sense of adventure, she knows that we value travel, she has pictures to prove she was there and they will hopefully inspire her to keep moving, keep going, keep trying new things/places/people. And I know it’s not lost on US, the parents of the child who, believe it or not, are still fully formed adult humans who love travel and want to see things even if our kid won’t remember it. We do it for us, which is actually doing it for her, because when we tell her later about how having her changed things we can say “It changed us completely, but we kept doing the things we enjoyed. We were so much the same and totally different.” And maybe tat small, silly example can tell her that we all exist in a contradiction and to try otherwise is futile. IMG_0702

The same roads we’ve driven before, but with a different view. Our pit stops never looked like this before, but when nature calls…IMG_0703 IMG_0704 IMG_0707 IMG_0708 IMG_0710

6 thoughts on “Dispatches from the Road (2)

  1. I don’t believe that V is too young to benefit from your travels. She most likely will not remember the hotels you stay at, the automatic flushing toilets (those freak me out too) or even all the people she meets. But you know how they always say that our brains are mostly wired by the experiences in those early years? Well all your travels will wire V’s brain in all the good ways for sure.
    Btw, love that photo of the two of you, she looks so grown up in it!

  2. Love this, Lane. I so identify with your sense of adventure. Who knows what my guys will be like as adults, but I know that R at least could live in hotels. Just like his Mama. 🙂

  3. Love this post Lane and whatever you’re doing is working. She is a beautiful little girl inside and out. We love her so much and she is so happy.

  4. Hi – I found your blog through another “mom blog,” and I’m just skimming through some older entries. I stopped on this post to say that by age of five I had been to four continents and several countries due to my father’s work. As someone above mentioned, I don’t necessarily remember the details, but I actually do remember quite a few flashes/moments (a busy market in Egypt, a boat ride in Singapore, etc.) and I really treasure the pictures and stories my parents shared.

    We continued traveling through my early teen years and, while I was sad to leave friends every time, I never felt like I lost anything and I never thought, “I don’t like this, can’t we stop?” It was just life and I really love how I grew up. When we settled in my last couple years in high school, I was incredibly restless (they say that comes with being a “Third Culture Kid”), but also enjoyed that time, too. I think travel, at any age, is just a tremendous gift and growing experience, and creates valuable flexibility/adaptability. It’s awesome she’s getting these special places, even at her young age! It’ll help her thoughout life, guaranteed.

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