I’m sitting in our hotel room after running through the streets of Boston. Not “running for exercise”, running. We “ran” home from breakfast (we found a local joint that we love, and have eaten there for the last three mornings) in the biting wind and cold.
I’m positioned next to our in-room fireplace, and in between staring at the flames and listening to the crackling wood, I’m thinking of all of the many memories I’m going to take home with me.
To many, traveling with kids isn’t their ideal. It seems that they struggle through the whole event, making the best of it. While traveling with young ones indeed presents unique challenges, It also (at least for my husband and I) exposes us to beautiful and simple pleasures that we may have not noticed, otherwise.
Children are captivated by their senses and not afraid to share their raw emotion, at the drop of a hat. I love that about kids – they are so genuine. They also notice things we won’t – they are at a different level, not concerned by details, timelines and itineraries; free to see. It takes so much less to impress and please them, than adults.
My girls had never seen snow before this trip. I have an almost ten year old, almost seven year old, and one that is just three. Upon learning there might be snowfall, the girls went absolutely insane. They knew what they had missed out on, all these years – the photos of snow have left them wondering what it must feel, taste and look like. They lived in anticipation for a good 24 hours – excited for something that adults on the street are completely annoyed with (and I’m not saying I wouldn’t be, if I had to shovel it!)
When they woke up, they wouldn’t stop asking, “When will it start?!” and I just held my breath, waiting. If it didn’t snow, I knew I’d feel so sad for them. We walked down to the hotel lobby, where the girls had made so many friends – the concierge, the bell men and valets. My middle child (who prayed for snow twice the evening before) was talking to a lady behind the desk when a man walked in and announced, “Well, it’s snowing. It’s started.”
(Polly was skeptical of public transportation but quickly fell in love with the “train”.)
My daughter screamed. She ran to the door and screamed again, “IT’S SNOWING MOM DAD IT’S SNOWING.”
I started crying.
The joy my girls had, upon seeing snow for the first time, was every feeling I had ever wanted to feel, as a parent, all rolled into one precious and melting moment, that I felt come over me like the first taste of a warm drink when you are frozen to the bone. I felt like laughing and crying and hugging everyone in my reach.
But I just stood there and watched. Watching as my girls ran outside and opened wide their mouths to catch snowflakes.
I will never forget that moment. Ever.
That moment, and so many others, are the reason I cherish living every day with my girls. Traveling with them, talking with them, teaching them, and raising them alongside my beautiful husband.
In between moments of frustration and exhaustion is sandwiched so many moments of sheer magic. And often, when I choose to stop being an adult and slow down, I recognize that the magical moments happen all the time, really.
I just miss them because one day, long ago, I grew up.