We made lists at the table. I asked each child to tell me all the places they had been. The lists were rather substantial. Italy, Bora Bora, Disney World, Hilton Head, New York, Paris, Ireland, Fiji. Kieran's list had Hawaii and another trip to Italy. Cadence had Australia and both she and Quinlan had London. All this in the span of ten years. The question arose in my mind as I tried to keep the little kids from misbehaving yet again in a very public restaurant, "why?". What was it about us that gave us the bravery or stupidity to travel the world with our kids? It wasn't as if all the trips we had taken had given them manners or tools for behaving like humans. They seemed to have gotten worse since the last trip, fighting more, like little lion cubs, crying out or openly swinging in the confined space of a Paris cafe. I thought about it more as I sipped my wine with lunch. Was it that we wanted our family to be a family where ever we went? Disrupting the ether just like at home? Or was it that we wanted our kids to grow up with a different view of life on the planet? Not frightened by the differences in the way people live. It occurred to me that people move more in the cities of Europe. They walk and climb stairs, and stand on trains and buses. This was good for us all to see. Our kids have seen villages and old crumbling buildings and have played house in some very cool city apartments. Maybe we are doing them a favor. Maybe we are doing the world a favor by bringing them with us where ever we go. Maybe we are a little bit insane.
I asked the kids to list the places they want to go or go back to. The list was long. As I finished my wine, I had a warm thought about the future and the impact we will have in other small cafes in other locales sometime in the future.