There are three things in this world that I love above all others. They are my two sons and my cat. I hesitate to include the cat because she is, after all, a cat, but it seems to me there is a separate part of all human hearts reserved for pets so I will include her, knowing that those who also have pets will understand.
I spent so much time thinking about and missing my boys the last time I went on a solo vacation (truly solo, not just sans kids). I wanted them to see the things I was seeing, hear the things I was hearing, and taste the things I was tasting. Ultimately, I wanted them to feel what I was feeling: a deep sense of wonder in the significance of small things and the recognition that many of the things we think are big are quite insignificant. This is what travel teaches me and what I hope it will teach my kids when they are old enough to explore the wider world alone.
I realize that I only have a small window in which to travel with them, and I hope to be able to do that more. I love to share experiences with them and watch them grow. I encourage them to push past the little annoyances that come with spending long days together, and teach them to inhale deeply in the spaces when we are all in sync.
I love them. What is harder to admit is that I love myself too. It’s the reason I pushed past the discomfort and worry and booked a vacation without waiting for a better time, a bigger bank account, or a traveling companion. It’s why I chose, as my youngest said, to “ditch” the kids and go alone. I love myself enough to know that I need this. I need sun. I need solitude. I need to fly.
They say that to FLY you must First Love Yourself so from time to time, I give myself permission to do that. Someday, I hope my kids will too.