Every time we travel from home I am reminded that my kids are very good friends.
Our boys, who are three years apart in age, love to compete. Who can jump higher? Who can run faster or catch more air on their bike? Who can suck in their spaghetti or eat their asparagus in the least amount of time? Sometimes the competition leads to bickering about important topics like, who got a bigger slice of pie or who gets a certain spot on the couch. Fun stuff. And, of course, our older boy doesn’t always want his younger brother hanging out with “his” friends. It’s all so typical and aggravating and exhausting.
However, when we travel everything changes. Yes, we have low moments, especially when we have long journeys or when plans go awry. But there is a shift in our family dynamic and we seem to find one another again.
Gone is the monotony of the daily routine. We don’t have to worry about packing school lunches, getting kids to and from school, doing the laundry, cleaning rooms, putting away toys. Instead, all of our needs become simple and we rely on one another for a whole set of different tasks. Often we just need to navigate to our next destination, find a place to sleep for the night, stay fed, explore, learn, and play.
Because we are free of the little daily tensions, Darren and I stop bickering about things that don’t really matter. And, without other children around, my kids play with each other, just like when they were little. My teenager’s hyper sense of image goes out the window and he returns to enjoying simple pleasures, like tumbling in a wave, playing chase or wrestling with his brother.
When I traveled as a single person, simply being in new surroundings made me feel free and alive. But now, as a mom, that sense of freedom has been redefined. I feel it when I see such huge smiles on my kid’s faces and hear their unchecked laughter. It is there when my boys forget to compete and just enjoy being together. It overflows when we turn to one another for companionship and comfort and fun.
Yes, I enjoy the respite from daily chores, but more so, it feels like we get to push a reset button and return to a more simple way of being together. Creating new memories within this framework helps refresh our friendships and it brings a whole new value to our travel. I can’t get enough!
Have you had similar experiences with your family? I would love to hear about it!