Oh The Places We’ll Go

“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?”

“Yeah.”

*****

“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.

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3 Comments

  1. You should definitely consider Uganda. Like right now. Or maybe in the next 3 weeks before I leave. 🙂

    [Reply]

    lizzie Reply:

    Considering . . . oh, wait. No visas. Or passports. Maybe we’ll find a Ugandan restaurant here in the city and call it good. 🙂

    [Reply]

  2. Stephanie Bassett

    August 4th, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    I’m still a little bitter about the fact that my parents left me behind when they and my older siblings went to Australia. Yes I was only 3, but couldn’t they have waited until I was older? Of course, as a teenager I went to New Zealand while some of my other siblings didn’t, so I guess that evens things out.

    I’m pretty impressed that your Manchild even knows Uganda exists. And, of course, it won’t console him now, but he lives in a place where millions of people go to have fun and millions more wish they could go (including myself).

    [Reply]

    lizzie Reply:

    Sometimes I think about taking a trip and leaving the youngest kid at home, but then I think that they would probably never forgive me for it, no matter how young they were at the time. Thanks for corroborating my suspicions.

    My sister is doing a study abroad in Uganda right now. I assume that is why he knows it, but then, we haven’t spent much time talking about it, so I could be wrong. He picks up all sorts of things and I have no idea where they came from.

    [Reply]

  3. Just a wee perspective from the other side … I was taken all over South and Central America, starting at 9 months, about every 2 years up until my early teens. My best memories of childhood, bar none, are those trips … even when I was 3 and 5. It had a huge impact on my view of the world, and tho I can’t verify it at the moment with my mom, I suspect it curbed the whining a bit, at least for the few weeks after a trip. I saw that many (happy!) people lived on next to nothing, and that I had more than I knew. I also found that language and color meant nothing, but admittedly that wasn’t something I got in my hometown of Columbus OH at the time. We took our almost-2-year-old to Ecuador (timing it so he didn’t have pay for a ticket) and I do think it was just too early for him to remember. Another year and he’d still have some memories of it I bet. Just my 2 cents :). Virtual travel is great here too, maybe wander some of the more defined ethnic neighborhoods and check out the parks and stores? Nothing like acquiring new tastes at an early age :). (note to self, work that into homeschooling this year!)

    [Reply]

    lizzie Reply:

    I actually was thinking about putting together a virtual travel list where we could experience little bits of different cultures without having to pay for plane tickets . . . a great perk about living here. I think it is a great idea, and I’d love to hear what you come up with for your homeschooling.

    I really would love to be able to travel with the boys when they are young, and I hope we get the opportunity to do it — or make the opportunity. I know that any difficulty I would have with it would be more than made up for by what they gain from it. Thanks for confirming that!

    [Reply]

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