Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Photo Op

Hello all.

Day 5 here on the Never-True Tales/Pit Stops for Kids/grandparents and grandkids/road trip.

I have so much to write about, I feel a bit paralyzed, to be honest. I don’t know where to begin. It’s exactly the feeling one gets when first walking into a Baskin-Robbins or an IKEA or Disneyworld (feel free to insert your own weakness here): stimulation overload. Too many options. Too many choices.

So I’m going to begin somewhere quite simple.

Here, in fact.

Underwhelming, I know. I have two memory cards filled with photos of stunning scenery, amazing experiences, and happy children (and it‘s only Day 5!), but this is the one I want to share with you all, because it reveals so much about what this trip is about.

In this photo, Toby’s taken off his seat belt and scrambled out of his booster seat in a mad fervor to take a picture of a black bear eating berries along the side of the road. And it’s not as though I see black bears every day, either, but instead of taking my own photo, I took a photo of Toby taking a photo.

And I find that very telling.

Because I didn’t think I did that too often: gain vicarious enjoyment through my kids. I guess I always assumed I was too self-centered for that to be a problem, too wrapped up in my own small enlightenments and lessons learned, soaking in stimuli for my own sake as much as for theirs. When I expose my children to new experiences, travel, and activities, I’m usually engaged in that sense of discovery right there with them.

But clearly that’s not always the case. Sometimes, like today, it’s the reaction that gives me the most pleasure, not the action. It’s the view through the camera lens, not the view out the car window. Not the bear, but the child enamored with the bear.

And this is one reason (among many, many, many) that I travel with kids.

More to come (with decent travel photos!) I promise! I scribble things down to share with NTT readers every day, but it’s a matter of finding those scribbled notes, digging them out from dirty laundry bags (why did I put them there?!), un-creasing all the wrinkles, typing them up, finding WiFi, and posting them. Thank you for bearing with me. In the meantime, you can follow along with some of the places we‘ve visiting at  
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