With this week's 4-hour bomb of a snow storm followed by immediately melting, I am convinced we have now seen the end of winter here in Utah (at least in the valleys-you snow lovers can keep on having your fun in the mountains). It's okay with me!
It has been such a blessing to have a warm winter. We haven't had to be bundled up and hurrying to keep from getting frostbite (In Iowa last winter, that was no exaggeration). We've been able to walk everywhere we need to go-the library, the grocery store, the park, our homeschool co-op. Where spring usually means getting back in to the habit of using our legs, this year my kids beg to walk instead of drive when it's time to run the errands. They surprise me and I'm loving it!
Today as B and I walked to his art class, I held his hand and he told me all about the things he's been learning. At almost 8-years-old I know the time is winding down when he'll let me be so close and it overwhelmed me today how much I really love him.
He's a voracious reader and an extremely motivated independent learner. We learned this week about Mt. Vesuvius and the ruins of Pompeii. He's taken his history books to bed with him every night, and today he was telling me all about how the Romans treated their slaves, how the teachers reprimanded their naughty students, and the kind of pots the people of Pompeii used to grow their plants.
It was while I listened to him share with me so animatedly that I felt a validation and an inspiration that lately I've been missing. You see, I have been to Pompeii. (Truth be told, B has also been to Pompeii, but he was barely 1 and off the hook for not remembering). I've walked through the narrow streets. I've seen the fresco paintings and looked into the bakeries. I've sat in the the amphitheater that B was explaining to me.
All along I've known I wasn't traveling just for me. Wanderlust is not a selfish thing. At the root it's so much bigger than me. Without getting out and seeing, without being around other people in other places and smelling what they smell and hearing what they hear, the world would be as flat and lifeless as a printed map. I've been and I've seen and I've done and I did it so that my kids, and your kids, and you, and I can understand how their space on earth fits in and belongs with every other one.
As we walked, I told B about Pompeii and compared the volcano's distance to the distance of the Wasatch Range from us. I told him about a map-reading little boy we saw there who has never left my memory and who always comes to mind when B himself is walking around a park with his nose squarely planted in a map. And I told him that we would go back there someday so he can add to his mother's memories, bringing all his book learning to life.
I know not everyone has had the opportunity, or the desire, to travel the world and smell stinky things and hear the clatter of busy streets. Can I encourage you to think about the places you have gone, the ones that have touched you deep down inside, and share them with your children. Make them part of who they are, who you can be together? Wandering is powerful. It's meaningful. And it's something everyone of us has to share.
I love to travel and was lucky to go to quite a few places before becoming a mom. My kids always crack up because we will be watching something on TV and I will say...I have been there...right there! :)ReplyDelete
I was fortunate enough to spend 3 weeks in Europe a few months ago. I saw ancient ruins, visited Pompeii and walked where some of the disciples walked. It opened my world.ReplyDelete
I can so relate to this. I am so grateful for the opportunities I have had to travel. I have seen everything from cultured Europe to impoverished Asia. I know that I am changed for the better because of it, and I look forward to showing my kids how travel can change them, too.ReplyDelete
What a beautiful post! We are a military family so travel more because we must than due to wanderlust, but I do appreciate how much we have been able to expose our children to as a result. Thank you so much for linking this up at This Is How We Roll Thursday. I hope you continue to visit and share your provocative thoughts!ReplyDelete
I love this! Traveling is such a beautiful way to experience the world and appreciate cultures and peoples different than our own. I'm also a utah resident and am antsy for the spring to come so I can start my garden. Having it be a warm winter has had me itching for planting stuff way too early.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Lana! And you're right, spring is going to be a lesson in patience this year! We're gardening for the first time this year so I'm getting pretty antsy, too.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Corinne! I'm glad to hear you've taken advantage of your military travel...I have several friends who stationed overseas and their families hated it. But they never really got out and experienced anything and it always made me sad. I'll definitely be back to the link-up!ReplyDelete
You have wrapped up my thoughts so well. I'm sure your family has already learned this lesson from you!ReplyDelete
That is so wonderful, Laurie! In all my travels, I never got to make it to the ancient religious sites and I regret it now that many of those areas are so volatile. Hopefully there will still be time.ReplyDelete
Jamie, I do that, too! My kids usually just roll there eyes at me ;)ReplyDelete
Wonderful words. I have a small daughter and I really, really want to be able to show her as much of the world as possible. I think it's one of the best things you can do for your children. Your son is very lucky!ReplyDelete
What sweet insight. Wandering is wonderful and exciting. How wonderful that you B can share your thoughts and experiences while taking a mini wander trip walking around your neighborhood Thanks for sharing at the This Is How We Roll Link Party on Organized 31.ReplyDelete
I always love to hear what our kids remember from traveling (now that they are getting older and can actually remember.) It makes me laugh at the funny things they remember. They are so different than my memories. Thanks for the reminder to share my memories with them too and just not ask about theirs. :-)ReplyDelete
Absolutely! I'll definitely be passing my experiences on to my kids and family - travel just opens you up to an entire world and provides a lot of answers you probably didn't know you were even looking for. Thank you for sharing xReplyDelete
The very best vacation we have ever taken was a two week road trip across the United States with our two kids. We saw big things and little things and learned so much about our country. Two weeks in the back seat together and they didn't have a single fight!ReplyDelete
I have goosebumps reading this and picturing you there in Pompeii with B. How wonderful you were both able to revisit that special place together in a different way, and how much more meaningful his learning must be for it. I really need to travel more.ReplyDelete
I was able to live overseas on the Mercy Ships. I visited many places in Europe and Africa. I saw the finest things in life as well as utmost poverty. I learned so many things while working with them. I cherish the things I learned and hope to encourage others to volunteer some time with Mercy Ships.ReplyDelete
With my little one only being 2, this gives me so many ideas of things to do once he gets older. I cannot wait to travel and see what he sees, since it is often so different in perspective.ReplyDelete
Wondering is wonderful, and no one should ever give it up. I've traveled a fair bit, but not as much as I would have liked. I'm looking forward to my kids being a little older and traveling and experiencing things with them. It is a wonderful way to learn.ReplyDelete
Wandering is wonderful, I totally agree! It keeps you young and its an awesome experience. Thank you for your post.ReplyDelete
I'm not much on traveling, but I love reading about other people's adventures and seeing their photos.ReplyDelete
I travel quite a bit, but never really visit. I either rest a whole lot or visit family and friends, but I'm discovering that there is great value in switching up the routine.ReplyDelete
we love to travel as a family. It's the best money we spend!ReplyDelete
How wonderful that you have been able to share your travels with your son. I'm sure that your enthusiasm will carry through in his life too.ReplyDelete
I really hope so. He's definitely a creative one, so I'm sure that will take him far!ReplyDelete
Isn't that so true! The experiences and the laughs last so much longer than the latest toys or fashion trends!ReplyDelete
It is really nice to do things differently every now and then. Visiting with family and friends is always a good thing!ReplyDelete
That is part of the reason I love sharing our stories at A Local Wander-I hope you come back to share in the journeys we have coming up!ReplyDelete
Oh, it does keep you young! Sometimes even when you know you're going back to that "old" world you escaped from :) Thanks for stopping by and reading.ReplyDelete
People have always told me that traveling with my little ones is silly since they won't remember it. I'm starting to see a little bit where they're coming from, but it's never going to stop me. Maybe they don't remember, but my son loves the story of him turning 1 at the Coliseum in Rome and having little Italian boys sing him "Happy Birthday". It's always about the memories!ReplyDelete
The moments I've stooped down to a child's level and appreciated everything they see are the moments that mean the most to me. Traveling, not just being a tourist, definitely helps to keep it all in perspective.ReplyDelete
What an opportunity that must have been for you! I've always admired people who are able to travel with a cause motivating them. If there's anything I can do to help promote the Mercy Ships cause, please let me know!ReplyDelete
I am so grateful our experience came across so poignantly. Traveling is part of it, but also taking the time to notice things just as simple and important in every day life. Thanks for stopping by!ReplyDelete
Well, I'm extremely envious of the no fighting. We road-trip across the country quite a bit and I can't say I've ever been that lucky ;) But how wonderful that you had that opportunity! Our country is so diverse-I'm sure it was rewarding.ReplyDelete
You are absolutely right-travel does help us answer the questions in life that need to be answered. It brings great perspective for when we get back to "real life", too.ReplyDelete
You are welcome! I agree that the kids usually remember the most random things. Those are the stories you'll all be telling 20 years from now!ReplyDelete
Here's a link that shows you a little bit more what it is like. 60 minutes went on board and interviewed various people on board. You will see Dr. Gary Parker and I got to work with him! He is one of the most amazing people you could ever meet. http://www.crossseven.org/mercy-ships-60-minutes-youtube/ReplyDelete
It is a valiant goal to want to show our kids the world. I'm sure you will be able to and she will be so much blessed for it!ReplyDelete
Sharing these stories will leave such a mark on your sons heart! We all need to "wander" more! :)ReplyDelete
You must be so proud of your son! I love to watch our kids learn, and when you really hear what their take away is, it's so affirming. Our winter in Michigan was frigid to say the least, looking forward to walking more soon! We have a plan to travel the 50 states with our kids, starting this month! This post has been encouraging as I think about packing up 4 kids. :-)ReplyDelete
it neat you are able to add a different perspective on what B is learning because you have been there, and know what each of those places are like. I have a ever growing case of wanderlust, and it have taken me out of the country twice and have visited a few states. I like travel and wish I could do more of it. I feel like every place I have been and the experiences I have had there have shaped the person I am, it would be cool to share that with my future children. :)ReplyDelete
Even if you haven't been fortunate enough to be able to travel, you can still share with your child. It is fun the look at a picture and create your own travels together. It really sparks the creative mind for both of you!ReplyDelete