I see you. I see you cringing as I board the plane with...children.
Baby Bird on his first International plane ride
Should you travel with children?
The Scientist and I had been planning on living abroad for some time. When son #1 made an appearance, we briefly thought that having a child and trying to live abroad was a mistake.
Thankfully, that thought only lasted a second.
Baby Bird on his arrival in Berlin - what a trooper!
Since that time (2 1/2 years now!) we have traveled to many places in the US, Italy, the Czech Republic, the UK, Germany, Belgium and France. Although none of these vacations were spent like our travels before, such as spending time leisurely drinking wine till
the wee hours of the morning eleven o'clock, we relish this time as a family.
The Scientist and Baby Bird at the Eiffel Tower
Which is why I was dismayed to read a post entitled "Traveling with Terrible Children." (originally found on Have Baby Will Travel Blog). Corinne covers a lot of what I already wanted to say but I wanted to add some other thoughts.
Runied Monastary in Belgium
In his article, Matt said:
If you’re traveling with kids like it or not, you are going to be held to a different standard. People will look at you and judge your parenting skills based on only a few moments of interactions. That’s why, as the brand ambassador for parents everywhere, you not only have to parent, you have to do it well.
Traveling with children is hard enough without the added stress of knowing you are responsible for every other parent and child on Earth!
I would ask those of you who heave great heavy sighs when children board the plane to rethink your attitude. Don't we want children to be exposed to new and unique situations? Don't we want more people around who have been out of their comfort zone? Don't we want to raise children who are well-rounded and not afraid of others who are different?
Baby Bird Munich 2009
And what better time to start this when they are young and the world is their oyster?
Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand. – Chinese Saying
The Scientist and Baby Bird in Sardinia
So to anyone out there who has had their sleep interrupted for a couple of hours by a baby crying on an airplane...Take note... that the future leaders of this world all had to start somewhere.
Stonehenge England 2009
With the arrival of #2, we have already been on 2 trips. We can't wait to do more...
baby Igel, Baby Bird and I in Hamburg October 2010
My point is that travel with kids is tough, and, sure, it may bug the childless among us. But travel enriches all who partake, and only more so for children who are lucky enough to experience the wonderful world around us.