At the end of the first day of our Colorado adventure, I found myself thinking about how incredible it is to have new experiences with your kids, because you can come to discover your children more and to realize things about your own life as well.
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The trip out here was long. Mental note: when you travel with kids, bring along full meals onto flights because the airlines STARVE PEOPLE. Anyone trying to diet, just hop on a few flights! Seriously, it’s crazy that the airlines provide no food on mid-day flights and now charge $25 per bag…but that’s not the point of this little blog.
We got in late to my Aunt Simone and Uncle Will’s house in Colorado and I was nervous and tired. They live on a ranch in Colorado with horses and cats and big dogs, who roam the house freely. Long way from the controlled space of our apartment. I had to put the boys down in the room to sleep WITHOUT BLACKOUT SHADES! This is like asking a celebrity (which I am not) to walk down a crowded avenue without sunglasses on. So no blackout shades, sore tummies during the night probably because we hadn’t eaten right all day, which made them wake up mommy — grrr! Mommy woke up exhausted the next day, asking herself what the heck were we doing here, off-schedule and feeling crummy and worried about the boys and the dogs (my boys’ only previous experience with dogs was seeing my oldest get bitten once on the sidewalk).
But this day, which started off so sour, ended up being magical. Aunt Simone taught the boys about how to approach the dogs and they followed them around, fed them their treats of turkey and beets and began petting them. They found the cats and marveled at how they loved the bathroom floor. They ate granola! Sure there were some pushes, one bite mark, a shove and a few put downs, but overall, the boys played pretty nicely, and they actually — not kidding — said please to their aunt and brought their cereal bowls to the sink without my nagging. They went outside and played on their own with the sled. I actually found my boys to be more adventurous than I had imagined, more into this new experience and certainly less scared of the dogs and this new house than I had feared.
And I sat around and just talked to my aunt about life, our families, our kids. Countless cups of tea and a wood stove and heavy socks. Here’s the view from their house onto a tree full of different types of birds.
After a restful morning, we drove into town and saw the mountain. The boys were so gung ho. No whining whatsoever! It was so beautiful to see them discover this totally new place and these people whom I love so much. “Mommy, I like Aunt Simone because she rescues animals,” Lachie says. That about sums it up. This little seven year old had met a new person and was APPRECIATING something about her. That’s a good moment for a mom.
I nestled them into their blankets around 7:30 p.m. and then were so happy and cozy. No one gave me a hard time. And I felt the joy of discovering a new place with my kids and of discovering more of my kids through seeing what strikes them about new things.
It almost makes me feel like all the business and busy-ness of our lives is preventing us from knowing each other really well because we are so busy moving that we don’t get to talk enough and spend time savoring new things together and just enjoying one another.
So happy almost new year and here’s to shaking things up in your family in 2013 — whether that means trying a new food, or a movie, or a trip over to see some new friends, or travel — in the name of getting to know something new together and getting to know each other more.