"When you travel with your children you are giving them something that can never be taken away. Experience, exposure, and a way of life." -Pamela T. Chandler
As parents, we believe providing our daughter with the opportunity to view the world's beauty, diversity, and to cultivate respect and appreciation for all, is of the utmost importance. Our wish for her to recognize the value of travel, yet remain grounded and humble without a sense of entitlement that can come with such experiences. Let's not BS here, at almost three years old how can we expect her to grasp that concept? (Quo the full blown temper tantrum that took place today - hitting at me and throwing herself onto the pavement - over me saying no to a second dessert).
My expectations are realistic for her first European visit. No, I do not presume she will remember the tour of Lisbon or the all the historical stories I have presented to her this past week (geeky history buff over here). Yes, I expect that scoop of gelato to be more important to her right now than all the time and effort my husband and I put into planning this trip.
Still, with the little memories, she will retain of these trips during her early years I am confident that the experiences, encounters, and environments will shape the person she will become.
Her appreciation for adventure will continue to blossom. Her world will become bigger than the city she calls home. And her understanding of the good and the evil that makes up humanity will be well-formed.
So for now, I will take deep breaths as I attempt to peel my kicking and screaming child off the pavement - while mouthing silent apologies to those around me. And I will relish the "WOWs" that escape her lips as she wanders through the foggy forest of Parque e Palácio Nacional da Pena.