Very soon, our little family will seek out our own view of the Empire State building (and see JoAnna at the same time!).
New York City! It’s the only American city this proud Canadian ever thought was worth visiting. I figure it’s like Toronto, but better. NYC has always been a “one day, maybe” kind of traveler’s ideal which quickly seemed impossible once kids happened. But then we decided if we’re going to go across the world to visit family, why not pepper it with some interesting stop-overs. Istanbul happened three years back. My vote was for Paris next but when the husband read there are something like 40 million visitors to France, he did not want to see the Eiffel Tower like the rest of them. I think there’s something about all the pizza in New York that made it an easy sell for him.
I don’t know what we’re doing to our kids though. Yes, they get to see a lot. They’ve traveled more than some adults. But it’s beginning to turn into a competition at school. “Where are you going for the summer?”
What goals will my kids have when it’s their turn to be off on their way? Kyrgyzstan? Will they want to skip stones in Nice or see the sunset in Cape Town or swim with dolphins in Miami? Or is that just the bucket list pinned from Pinterest? Bucket lists seem dangerous – like a competition to see who can do more. And so you check each item off your list, then what? Are you satisfied? Does it mean you’ve lived life to the fullest? Somehow I doubt it.
As a parent, I wonder what my kids will dislike (hate?) me for. They’ll have fuzzy memories of that time we went to New York as well as the time we went to Axum (that’s a small town in Ethiopia). But it may all be too much, too soon. This (living in Africa and traveling beyond) is certainly not my experience of growing up. Maybe my kids will ask why we didn’t gravitate to Canada more; they already ask why we can’t make pizza in Canada and live there instead.
We can’t always get it right. There will be plenty of love, memories will be made (with traveling or without) and I have to hope that will carry us through.
My girl says our love will last 1000 years. Indeed.