Travel Teachings

22 Jan

I see them every day but it took eight days of traveling together over Thanksgiving week to learn some new things about my children.

  • As soon as Nate wakes up, as in the first sliver of an eye-opening, he whispers a song about counting by two’s. That mixed with a few sweet yawns and my heart melted.
  • Nate gets really freaked out when his foot, leg, arm or hand falls asleep. We were driving at the time and he woke up in a fit of fear and fury that I’ve never seen from him. We had no idea what to do for him other than tell him it will be over soon. That feeling must be so weird and scary for a little kid. I know I hate it.
  • Nia is finally feeling the woes of big sisterdom. There was a point in our travels when Nia and Nate were playing air hockey and I heard her scream at him, “You are just stupid!” (If you know us pretty well, you know that “s” word is gasped at like it is one of the biggie bad words.) I made her leave the game and sit out for some time. When she was finally calm enough to talk to me, she said with tears in her eyes, “He just kept bragging about doing good and I couldn’t take it anymore.” I know I should’ve stayed in discipline mom-mode but I ended up sympathizing with her – after not being able to hide my smile. She sounded so grown up in that moment. Just trying to figure out how to handle things. We talked more about other ways to deal with frustrating situations and then she and Nate hugged and apologized to each other. I will never forget her face though. Full of drama and seriousness. Confused but also feeling justified in her reaction. Growing up is tough, kid. We’re all figuring it out.
  • This learning is not pretty – that’s a warning – but I was still impressed by what I witnessed. Nate is very courteous when he vomits. He felt sick as we were just taking off on our trip and he told us in enough time that we were able to pull over for him to exit the car. He then leaned far over to make sure he didn’t get any on his clothes or shoes. I didn’t get grossed out because I was so amazed by how he handled himself through that experience. I would have been crying and probably would’ve lost it in the car. Maybe it was luck and not skill but what I witnessed that day needed noted.
  • Nia loves laser tag. Nate does not. Nia went back for another round. Nate ran out of the first round in tears. (Poor buddy.)
  • My little girl showed me her tough side during a nature walk one afternoon. She picked up a stick and then acted like a “warrior princess” and totally whipped up on some leaves and trees. It was intensely fun.

I love getting to spend devoted time like that with the kids. It may not be all laughs and sweet moments, but they are still special and important glimpses into their personalities. “I just couldn’t take it anymore.” I’m sure we’re going to hear that more in the coming years.

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