Matthew is a wonderful addition to our lives in so many ways but with regards to my massive travel bug, it has felt 'mmm, not so much'. I was thinking today after our usual morning meeting at work how completely myopic my world has become. It sort of made me sad. I love to travel but for years my travel wings were clipped because I was always so broke I hardly had the chance to go anywhere. Now we can go where we want but some times it feel like we cannot because we have Matthew.
Let me explain why our morning meeting brought this up - every morning we have a meeting (I know total OVER KILL but whatever - it is what it is...) On Mondays, we usually ask what every one did over the weekend or on their vacations. Two co-workers came back from these lovely sounding very non stress filled vacations without kids or spouses/so to places that did not include an in law Then our boss announced that next year, she is offering all of us a stipend to travel to one location to learn more about the area in order to write better scripts about those areas. I was excited and thrilled to learn about this addition to our office
However, travel with Matthew changes everything. Matthew is actually a very good little traveler as far 2 yr travelers go. When I was pregnant, we went to Hawaii, Seattle, Gettysburg PA & Washington DC. After he was born, we drove the 16 thousand hours in a mid sized vehicle to Winnipeg. Matthew has traveled from B-town to Detroit to Toronto to Rochester NY and back all in a car and what a trooper he was. Matthew has been to Indianapolis and back several dozen times. He has been to various locations around Indiana including Fort Wayne and various state parks. Matthew has taken the plane to Winnipeg and Seattle to see family.
He is a traveler but travel is still so very different with a 2 yr old then on our own. We certainly do not do many of things we might have done were we alone. You end up at a lot of zoos and children's museums. Which is really cool but very different then going to MOMA and seeing the latest Warhol exhibit or to see a more adult attraction like say a play or something related to history like Gettysburg. All things I loved to do when I went to new places. Also, I am not saying I could not take my 2 yr old to MOMA but I also appreciate that he is TWO and will not appreciate Warhol as much as I do. I am not mad about not being able to travel as much or to see the above mentioned things - one day I will have all of that back if I want (save the talk of a stinky recession that might cramp every one's style...) - I just miss doing some of that stuff. The freedom to decide on a whim to go somewhere, to camp in the Smokies in the rain or see Elvis' cheesy home in Memphis.
Then after thinking about this much of the morning I came to this conclusion (I am slow like this...): While traveling with Matthew at this age changes our travel plans to some degree, it is also really cool. Matthew is totally fascinated by things we as adults would totally ignore - the construction of a new wing to the airport for instance. It is actually really fascinating to see and I would hardly stop to look at it if I did not have Matthew or the huge Snoopy statue in the middle of the Minneapolis airport - I swear I have been in the airport more then any other in the nation and I have NEVER noticed Snoopy!
He is wide eyed to see new things, he takes things in stride that I never thought he would (the time change between EDT and PST... more so then I did! HA) and he loves to fly. The kid tromps onto a plane and stares out the window the whole time, chattering about the clouds, the OJ the nice lady delivered to him, the other planes in the sky, the people around him.
Okay so yeah there was that time in Minneapolis/St Paul that he dumped my entire Caribou coffee on the floor and started screaming at me all at the same time. And there is that feeling like I have been run over by the same plane I just traveled on to get to the location when I arrive. And finally, the shit we have to drag to and from our location - that part sucks. No more ancient backpack that has everything I need for a week somewhere!!
As much as I think my travel wings are clipped, writing this reminds me that my wings are only as clipped as I allow them to be. My brother and sister traveled to Holland and Bermuda and all places in between by the time they were Matthew's age. Kids can travel and see the world and while Matthew may not remember it all, he will grow up the way I felt I did - with a wide view of the world and experiences that will help him grow as a person. After all this thought and consideration, this coming year, I have big plans to drag Matthew to as many places as I can within reason. A renewed sense of travel - a different view of the world and not just because Matthew is 3 feet tall! No more myopia for me!
I am excited for our upcoming adventure on the plane to see grandma & grandpa this week! I hope Kevin & I have a chance to plan more adventures this coming year before baby #2 becomes less of a concept and more of a reality... A whole other adventure that will surely turn my world on its ear...