When we decided that we wanted to start taking trips as a family – even trips overseas – one of the chief arguments against doing so that we heard was, “But they won’t remember it!”
The idea behind that statement is that there’s some money being put into these excursions and it could be deemed “wasteful” to spend the money when the kids are young and might forget the journey. There was some encouragement to wait until the kids are older, so that they’ll better remember. We get that. The argument does makes a bit of sense to some degree or another. Still, we decided to proceed. We want to build up our own family culture with our own experiences and memories. Travel, we decided, would be a part of that.
Last year we took the kids to Iceland and England. We had an amazing time and so many, varied, beautiful experiences. Just recently the kids and I were reading through a book about England and it referenced some of the places we had been. I started conversing with them about our time there. Our oldest remembered perfectly well but our two middle children were a bit hazy on the details. Truth be told, I panicked. What if the naysayers are right? To quiet my own internal arguments, I pulled up our (literal) hundreds of pictures on the computer and we talked through the trip.
This experience caused to me think through why we’re doing what we’ve chosen to do again.
I realized a few things:
- We’re building up our own family culture, with our own experiences. We’re creating our own inside stories, jokes and experiences which will be a part of our family history.
- Taking pictures is an important part of the experience because it helps to nudge and remind the younger ones about our experiences.
- Oral storytelling is incredibly important! After all, it is historically how legends and lore are passed down and remembered! As we create our own family legends, oral storytelling is going to be an important part of keeping our own history alive.
- It’s ok if they forget where we’ve been or what we’ve seen.
What I hope they will remember:
- That we pursued adventures as a family – as a team.
- That we learned to work well with each other – being team players.
- That when surrounded by strangers and people outside of our family, we will always have each others’ backs.
Maybe our kids won’t remember that time we spent in Iceland, England or S. Korea but we the parents will and we will remind them of our glorious adventures. Hopefully they will know that the stories we are passing down to them of their childhood days are true and something to be proud of, to laugh at, and to learn from.
If they glean anything from our travel days, I hope it’s this:
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