“Mom, I want to go to England,” he’ll say.
“Me too. I’ve never been to England. I think it would be really cool to go there someday.”
“Mom, I want to visit Charlie and Lola when we’re there.”
“That would be really fun if we could visit Charlie and Lola, wouldn’t it?”
“Yeah. Charlie and Lola have a car that looks like a bus on the inside. We could go in their car with them.”
“Maybe someday we’ll have a car too. Wouldn’t that be great?”
“Mom, sometimes I want to go to Alaska.”
“I’d love to take you to Alaska someday. It’s beautiful there.”
“But when, Mom?”
“Hmmm. Maybe when you are a little bit older. Maybe we can go as a family when you are a teenager.”
“Hmmm. I think I would like to go when I am four years old.”
“Mom, I want to go to Uganda and Africa and Australia.”
“Wow. Those sound like some exciting places to go. What would you do there?”
“I would just go for fun.”
“I bet it would be fun. Can I come with you?”
“Yeah, because you would have to take me.”
And I would love to take him. I spend a lot of time thinking about the places we’ll go, things we’ll discover as a family, experiences I want to share with my children.
And then I plan a trip to the grocery store. We’ll pick up a few other small things a long the way. It might be raining a little bit, but not much. Nothing we can’t handle.
And yet, the child whines the entire time. He stops every few yards to moan about how he doesn’t want to go. He mopes. He groans. He yells. He draws looks from every passerby.
So I smile. Our fellow New Yorkers smile back. And I think, “Why do we need to go all the way to Uganda when we can’t enjoy a trip to Trader Joe’s? What kind of adventures could we partake of in Australia that aren’t already part of our lives in the Big Apple?” And until we can go 24 hours without the whiny voice tagging along, I’m not sure I want to leave the country with them.