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Follow The Wandering Introvert on

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When I was younger, I imagined that I would start traveling with my babies as soon as they were born. It took me a long time to have a child, and so before motherhood, I had the time and space to dream of what it may be. Because my little one arrived during the pandemic, though, so many things were not as I imagined. 

But this month, I took him on a trip to see dear friends of mine on the other side of the country. To say that I was intimidated by the prospect of a long flight – would I be able to keep him entertained; would I be patient – is an understatement. But now, on the other side and like so much in parenting, I’ve done something I didn’t know I could do – and we’re both better for it. 

There’s a line of thinking that says there’s no point in traveling with young children, because they won’t remember the experience. I hear that but I think my perspective is a little different. Our experiences, the ones that change us, are not always conscious memories. Often they are moments that introduce us to something new, impacting us in a way that our world is forever changed. 

I think that’s how travel is. 

My child learned a lot on this trip, both about another part of the planet but also about the people who love him. Maybe about himself as well. I can’t say what he’ll take with him from this trip but maybe he gained a little muscle memory of what it’s like to be adored by teenagers who see him as family; maybe there’s something now written into him about the way heat can move through you in February; maybe he became a little more accustomed to different routines and schedules in a way that will make him better able to navigate change in the future. 

For now, he still talks about the people; the small toy goat he threw out of an open window; the ice cream we got one warm evening; the plastic airplane he played with in the living room. He talks about the little train we rode in together, and the hush puppies we enjoyed our last night there.

We may not have had the chance to travel together like I imagined I would with my someday children, back in the before-times. But perhaps that doesn’t really matter. Maybe, against the odds of Covid, my little one is learning to be someone who loves this wide world anyway.

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