May 21, 2012

My Daughters, Future Globetrotters

This past weekend, I helped to chaperon the 8th grade field trip to Washington DC.  We took 61 8th grade students on a three day walking and bus tour of the major sights of the city, including, but not limited to, the following:

The World War II Memorial
The Lincoln Memorial
The Vietnam War Memorial
The Korean War Memorial
The Kennedy Center
The White House
The Capital Building
The Air and Space Museum
The Smithsonian Castle
The American History Museum
The Natural History Museum
The Sculpture Garden
The Holocaust Memorial
Old Town Alexandria
Arlington National Cemetery
The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial
The FDR Memorial
The Jefferson Memorial

Needless to say, it was a lot of walking.  I love walking!  If I lived in DC, I would not own a car.  I would own a bike and a very nice pair of walking shoes.

This trip got me thinking about my own kids.

Before we had the girls, Sara and I talked about the summers.  Being a teacher, one of the advantages is that I have summers off.  If I can convince her to become a teacher as well, then the whole family can have summers off.

Many parents who have to work through the summer put their kids in summer camps full time, or keep a babysitter.

My plan is to travel.  When the girls are old enough, I want to pack them into the car, or a pull behind trailer, and drive.  Each summer we would pick a new destination and go, stopping at historical and interesting things along the way.  It would be a vacation, but the prime goals would be to have serious bonding time with the girls and to show them some of the amazing things that exist in our country and others.

They would help me plan the itinerary, calculate gas and food costs, plan routes and find fun things along the way.  I love this idea SO much that the thought of it helps me get through some of the tougher days when I think about leaving teaching altogether.

I will admit that I feel badly about the fact that Sara would not always be able to come with us.  We will plan mini-vacations on which she can and will, but I am feeling selfish about this.

The girls adore Sara.  If she is home, I am chopped liver.  My sole purpose in the house is as ... I honestly don't know what they think I am there for.

When Sara isn't there, I'm surrogate mom.  Harper even calls me mom on occasion.

I can be sitting with them on the floor, playing a game, or reading a book, having a great time.  Then suddenly, I find myself surrounded by toys and asking the pull-behind dragon why he is so angry at the stuffed monkey, only to realize that I am completely alone and talking to myself.  The girls have heard Sara's car, or seen her at the door and I have no more importance than a discarded cast member of Toy Story.

I don't mind.

I do, a little, but that's alright.  I understand the connection that children have with their mothers versus their fathers, especially in the early stages of life.

My revenge will served cold.

VERY cold.

Like, 8-years cold.

Maybe not 8, but when I think that the girls will be ready for longer car rides we're going!  We'll start out small, finding attractions where we would only have to stay over for one night, then work our way up.  I have huge trips in mind, like The Rockies, Oregon, and Alaska.  I want to take bikes and tents (even though I hate camping) and show them amazing things that can be done without a television or computer.

I want to take them to Canada, Mexico and anywhere the car can go.  As they get older, we may even do overseas trips, but I would much rather have Sara with me for those.

I know they will hate me.  They will complain about wanting to stay inside and watch TV.  They will want to lay by a pool, or hang out with their friends.

I know they will, because my parents tried several trips like this with me and my brother and we complained about everything.

I should have kept my stupid mouth shut and gone anyway.
The monkey can come too, I guess.



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