Something which had often frustrated me about kids, is just how hard it is to impress them with something that you have done. This is not to say that kids are hard to impress, on the contrary, a Kinder egg will put a smile on their face and a silly coin behind the ear trick will give them a sense of awe, but I mean actually impress them with who you are, and not some little trick that you can do.
This makes perfect sense of course, a child wouldn’t be impressed that you could speak 18 languages like they are your mother tongue, because they don’t grasp the concept of what goes into learning the language, but that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with as a parent.
I have been traveling now for just over 2 years, hitting up 14 countries with a toddler in tow, which is fascinating to watch if I am being honest, because it takes so much to impress them.
I appreciate that traveling with a little one is far less beneficial for them than it should be, and I can only imagine the number of adults out there, sat at the office desk in a job they hate, dreaming of walking on the beaches of Ko Samui or enjoying tacos on the streets of Mexico City, as my young offspring indulges in those experiences without really grasping why he is there or where the next cookie is coming from.
I began to see signs of growth, beyond the obvious, in terms of his awareness recently and this is something which has really filled my heart. Admittedly, during our trip to Rome, the most exciting aspect of that for him was the delicious handmade pizza which he enjoyed, but he did react differently to any other pizza we have ever eaten, in awe of the method by which it was made. Sure he didn’t give two hoots about the Colosseum or the Trevi Fountain, but I have no doubt that this will come, and I’ll certainly take a pizza wow.
The reason why this was such a great moment for us is that I have sometimes questioned the decision on raising kids whilst on the road, wondering whether giving them a solid foundation first was a better answer. In reality I always have, and always will support the decision which we took, but these moments where they enjoy their surroundings, which we have had plenty more of since that pizza moment, just reinforces the belief that we have made a good choice in giving the kids this experience, even if they aren’t completely aware of why it matters just yet.
It has taken us many landmarks, meals, cultures, nations and peoples, but eventually, they are starting to understand and appreciate what is going on, here’s to many more countries and many more wow moments.