Yes, they are kids. For the most part they have been awesome little travelers; flexible , easily entertained, quick to adapt, and enthusiastic. So far, I have barely packed snacks, the DVD player has been broken more than functional and the first night we ended up staying at a hotel with nothing but the clothes on our backs.
It’s all about perception and how we (Pete & me) choose to see the moment. The kids can be whining one moment and it is like nails on a chalkboard. They could be doing the same thing moments later and I don’t even notice it, or better yet, I could attend to them with understanding and patience.
There have been quite a few stressful moments; Pulling off exits only to find no easy way back on route, not being able to drive for a consecutive hour, trying to back our big camper into tiny spaces in the dark, following incorrect GPS directions, being disappointed with our choice of place to stay, trying to offer healthy food choices while being on the go, etc. These are the situations when we both struggle to keep it together with the constant chatter of children and their needs. It is RARELY quiet. We each have our ways of dealing. Pete chooses to wear foam earplugs as he drives… I just grin and bear it.
In many ways, the kid’s behavior has been better. There is so much for us to talk about and learn about together. It’s so easy to find interesting things in all of our new places. The car rides can be tough at times, but the reward at the end is always worth it.
Today I sat at a picnic table and watched the kids play on a huge 5 tire carousel at the park. They laughed, they experimented, and of course they fell. I got up to play with them. I dragged them around the post as fast as I could, lifted my feet off the ground and held on for dear life. This is what I live for. These are the moments.
That’s what I mean about perspective. When the kids are having a bad moment or when any of us are having a bad moment, that is all it is. I try to ride it out and know that it will pass or be resolved and all will be well again.
Times do get tough, space gets cramped, unfamiliar surroundings take effort to navigate. But for us, so far, we are finding many treasured moments.