Who has watched the Disney movie UP without being moved by it at least once? The first time I watched it, I was dealing with infertility. So the part where they show you their shattered dream of becoming parents really got to me. I mean, I was sobbing in the movie theater, unable to control myself. The nice relationship of a married couple, the heartbreak of loosing the person who you love most in this world, the kept promises and the openness to new relationships (with Russel)… I mean, the movie is a tear jerker.
I had not wanted to re-watch it, however, over the weekend, the kids chose that same film for movie night. I thought I could handle it. But the truth is that I couldn’t watch it without crying. There are just so many things that one can relate to. Perhaps the most touching for me this time, was the very cute album made by Ellie as a little girl with her dreamed adventures that she never got to live herself. This specifically got to me because of the recent passing of my maternal grandpa. Yes, very cliché, but life is too short not to try to reach our goals and live our dreams. I did like however, the spin they put on it as she told her husband through the same album that her life with him had been the best adventure.
I type this and I can’t help it but to get teary eyed… Seriously. I think we all have dreams that we end up putting aside because other things come along. My husband and I have always had this burning desire to travel but, when we were first married, we couldn’t really afford to go anywhere. We had to be content listening to our friends’ stories and awaiting for their pictures of their adventurous travels to pop up on Facebook.
We would soak up all the information and make our mental plans of the places we would like to go; however, by the time we were in a comfortable position to travel, our children had arrived. We could have just continued dreaming and seeing the opportunities to travel just pass us by, like in the movie UP, or we could just be crazy and travel with babies, and toddlers and diapers and just go. And that is exactly what we have been doing at every chance we can. Opportunities are too few to be wasted. Carpe Diem!
Listen, if you have been thinking about doing something or going somewhere and you don’t because you have children that you would have to take along, just do it! Don’t overthink it, just over-plan it. In all honesty, it is hard and stressful to manage kids in airports and to shuttle them around places. But is so worth it and a true adventure. If you had asked for advice before and people have told you that taking your toddler to Europe, for example, is a waste of your money because they won’t appreciate it, don’t listen to them. Listen to your travel instinct. We did earlier this summer and we have no regrets.
We were invited to a friend’s wedding in an island in the northern part of France. This friend had come to our wedding in Mexico and we thought, why not go and make it a couple’s-getaway type of trip? But when my mother couldn’t come to stay with the children, we decided to just go with a five, three and one year-old and experience France. La vie est belle and one must live it to experience all of its beauty.
Now, when you travel with children, you do have to adjust your expectations as far as site-seeing goes, but I am not exaggerating (my friend who traveled with us is my witness), when I tell you that my two older where jumping of excitement at the first sight of the Eiffel Tower. Sure, I had prepped my kids for this trip by watching all kinds of movies and reading all kinds of books based in Paris. They also get a monthly subscription called Little Passports that teaches them about a different county every month and France had already been one of the countries. We have also traveled to Mexico and Lebanon to visit family, therefore, they were no strangers to airports and long travels.
I had to do lots of research of places where we could take them to run around between one attraction to the next, and even though my kids may not have appreciated the centennial history of Notre Dame, they were still in awe of its majesty and beauty. They also recognized the image of the Lady of Guadalupe inside the cathedral and were very curious about the gargoyles. They may not have appreciated the artwork displayed at the Louvre (which is why we didn’t go in this time), but as we walked by it, they recognized that it was “the house of Mona Lisa”, as they put it.
Kids CAN appreciate and have the capacity to learn from every situation. You just have to make a conscientious effort of getting to their level. If you are as lucky as we were, they may even let you sit down for coffee hour every day, so long you buy a colorful macaron for them.
Going back to UP, if you have dreamed of traveling somewhere and an opportunity comes along. Take it without hesitation and before is too late. Though life when you experience it along your greatest loves is an adventure on itself, pursuing and reaching dreams together makes for a prettier photo album at the end.