This quote from Bread & Wine resonated with me and my husband about our life together with kids. There are many aspects of life that would seem much easier to do without children, or to simply not have children at all during this season of our lives. And, it probably is easier from many standpoints, especially travel, like the author writes about. Yet, it is through sharing life together, alongside our children, that we have all learned so much.
“Sometimes people ask me why I travel so much, and specifically why we travel with Henry so often. I think they think it’s easier to keep the kids at home, in their routines, surrounded by their stuff. It is. But we travel because it’s there. Because Capri exists and Kenya exists and Tel Aviv exists, and I want to taste every bite of it. We travel because I want my kids to learn, as I learned, that there are a million ways to live, a million ways to eat, a million ways to dress and speak and view the world. I want them to know that “our way” isn’t the right way, but just one way, that children all over the world, no matter how different they seem, are just like the children in our neighborhood—they love to play, to discover, to learn. I want my kids to learn firsthand and up close that different isn’t bad, but instead that different is exciting and wonderful and worth taking the time to understand. I want them to see themselves as bit players in a huge, sweeping, beautiful play, not as the main characters in the drama of our living room. I want my kids to taste and smell and experience the biggest possible world, because every bite of it, every taste and texture and flavor, is delicious.”
I’m not opposed to parents leaving their children with grandparents or other trusted adults–I don’t have that experience simply due to the geographical distance between us and our extended families (and there are certainly times I desperately long for a relative to come over and spend time with my children). But, I wonder if we–society as a whole–miss out on a lot of lessons by believing it is impossible to live a certain way without shuffling the children off to others to care for them. I wonder if we could say the same of worship and church? (Though that is another rabbit trail…)