Our family loves to travel and in July of 2011, travel, we did.
At the beginning of the month we found ourselves in upstate New York picking wild raspberries in the country. And we ended the month tide pooling on a Mexican beach.
Were there therapies there? New treatments?
Just family, friends, celebration, and mostly just a lot of love. I know, gushy, gushy.
Upstate New York
Grampa saying hello to Christian.
Handsome teenage boy who will not smile in forests.
We visited upstate New York for the ten year anniversary celebration of my sister and brother in law. Awfully proud of these two.
Love you, Nat and Brandon!
Then it was off to Mexico to celebrate both of my boys' birthdays.
Ahem...I have a 13 year old now. Yes, I do.
And he really does smile if you can catch it.
I'm pretty sure he liked it.
And Lola was...
...well, she was just Lola.
And why am I sharing this?
Because I learned some things in our recent travels and here it goes:
THINGS I LEARNED WHILE TRAVELING:
1. Don't stick to plans and learn to make new ones. - I made the mistake of thinking I could plan things during our trip to New York. In fact, it got to the point where I would get angry at plans that were not turning out. After cancelled and unavailable flights, we were stuck there for three extra days. I learned my lesson.
2. Handle with care. - While waiting at a train station in Rochester, a homeless man (at least I think he might have been homeless) came to sit on the bench close to us. He was a talker. He looked at Christian and asked, "Is he slow?" It almost made me want to laugh at how juvenile the question seemed. I just thought - Dude, you don't know the half of it. I wish "slowness" was our problem. I told him Christian's story, because I'm not shy about it. And do you know what he did? He reached into his bag and pulled out a brand new bottle of Purel. Now, the man was not dirty by any means, but he rubbed his hands in Purel and touched Christian's hand. He mumbled something about Christian being a true miracle and then he wandered off. I guess what surprised me is that he innately knew that Christian should be treated and handled with care.
3. Nonstop flights across the country with a one and half year old is never a good idea. Ever. - Will not do this again. Three of the four hours in tantrums = worst idea ever. Apologies to the other passengers.
4. Plans? Chuck 'em. - It wasn't until we got to Mexico at the end of the month that I really grasped (or re-grasped, I should say) that it's okay to let go. In all truthfulness, it was the heat and humidity that made me do it. There came a point that I realize, we just have to 1) follow what the kids feel like doing and 2) follow what we feel like doing. The moral of the story here is when plans fall through, chuck 'em. That's when the real fun begins. And, yes, I know this is the same lesson as #1, but it really had to be tattooed on my forehead for me to finally get it.
5. Family vacations make my life. - Before Christian's accident we travelled with him. We have beautiful pictures of him sitting in the salty waters of Key West and giggling at Disneyland. Those are some of our best memories. After the accident we vowed (with defiance) that this would not stop us from traveling to new places. We would still make memories with our family the way it is now. And we've come through on that promise to ourselves, I'm proud to say. It makes us who we are and every single memory I have traveling with my children, even the screaming on the airplane memories, make my life. They are my favorite.