We welcomed Anna Clara Sethi into our family on June 22nd. She’s a beautiful baby girl and we’re loving getting to know her. Now at almost 3 months we’re getting lots of smiles, longer stretches of sleep (hallelujah!) and are about to embark on our first international adventure with 2 kids.
We’ve chosen a low-key vacation at an all-inclusive resort in Puerto Morelos, on the Mexican Yucatan peninsula. It’s near Cancun but quieter and less touristy than Cancun, so we’ve heard. My parents are joining us, making the prospect of traveling with two little ones far less daunting.
In the meantime, our three-year old, Grace, is getting excited about our Mexican adventure. This is the first trip she’s actually asked questions about beforehand. Tonight as I laid in bed with her she wanted to know every detail about our travel: what time she’ll be woken up, what we’ll do when we get to the airport, where Daddy will park the car, how he will find us in the terminal, etc. etc. It dawned on me – she’s actually old enough to care! This little girl has six stamps in her passport but she has never really known that she was in some of the most incredible places in the world, let alone asked questions about how travel logistics work. How exciting that she now anticipates travel, perhaps even more than I do any more!
After she was tucked in bed I got in a bit of a tizzy about making this trip “culturally meaningful” for Grace. She’s going to Mexico, a place she knows a little about from Mexican friends. She knows a few token Spanish words (gato and adios, in particular). In my quest to make this trip more than a week playing in the sand for my little preschooler, I went on amazon.com and discovered this great booklist of bilingual Spanish-English books. Of course I reserved them ALL at our library (where oh where will they fit in our luggage?).
In my zeal I may find myself overloaded with library books. Still what a discovery to realize we are now a family of travelers, no longer a traveling couple with a child or two in tow. While Anna may just be along for the ride this year, Grace will be able to absorb new people, new words, new foods, new sights, new smells. Our job as parents is to find creative ways to enhance those discoveries. Way #1: a trip to the library to pick up that pile of books I reserved.