Thursday, November 4, 2010


We have heard it numerous times, "you give your children a variety of experiences".

I laugh. We do?

It does not feel that way. We like to stay home, and force our children to entertain themselves, since we are not good at playing with our children. Hubby is better at this than I am. However, we would prefer sitting on the couch reading a book, sending the kids off to another part of the house, not to be seen, nor heard.

My children have not been on an airplane. The only other country they have visited is Canada. They have not been to Disney World, and have only been to the beach once, maybe twice.

Then again, my teacher friends remind me that some kids, in our area, have never left the state, let alone the county they live in. Their parent's may have never traveled out of the state. We at least drive to Pennsylvania for Christmas.

What really adds to my laughter, and a lot of guilt, is looking back on my own childhood experiences.

Due to a convergence of circumstances, our family lived in England for 5 years. When you live in another country, for, what you know will be, a limited time, you make the most of it. And, my parents did. We explored England, by the time I was JT's age we had seen the Eiffel Tower, the Mona Lisa, skied in Italy, vacationed in the south of France, and I had kissed the Blarney Stone, in Ireland.

Even our school class trips were more exciting. When I was in the 3rd Form (4th Grade) we took a class trip to Wales for the weekend. Was it Wales? It was a weekend trip, somewhere.

I should ask our 4th Grade teachers if they want to take the kids on a weekend trip.

The following year, 4th Form (5th Grade), our class trip was a week at Guernsey, an island between England and France. Any takers for taking 40+ kids on a ferry, and spending the week traipsing around an island? We were let loose, with no chaperons at times, and the only chaperons were our teachers, all 3 or 4 of them.

Times have changed.

However, that was my childhood; and had the convergence of circumstances not happened, we would not of had those experiences. Had we stayed for only one year, which was the original plan, instead of 5, we would not of had all those experiences.

To multiple my guilt I ordered Frommer's 500 Places to Take Your Kids Before They Grow Up.

Why? To give me some vacation ideas? We may have hit 5, maybe 6, of those places already, 3 of them are in our area. If you wanted to complete half the list you would need to be independently wealthy, and homeschool your children.

So, the bottom line is this, we don't all have the same experiences, and our children will not have the same experiences as we did growing up. We offer them what we have, with the resources we have.

Would my kids love to ride in an airplane, and visit another country. Yes. Are they excited to visit the local children's museum, or one of the local caves in our area, yes. They will grow up with fond memories of spending weeks in Canada, camping with the family, and all the times I dragged them to Niagara Falls, since we were driving by on our way home from Canada.

Niagara Falls, to my kids, will soon become my Stonehenge, when my family lived in England. Friends and family would visit us, and one of the the places we took them was Stonehenge. "Not again, they are just a pile of rocks sitting in the middle of a field."

Really, adventures are lost on the young.

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