On Friday of this week Tommy turns 10 years old, and it feels as much a milestone for me as it does for him. So each day I’ll be sharing photos that take us through the many places we’ve been together with links to posts I wrote about those places so you can come along with us.
I’ll admit that Tommy’s third and fourth years were lighter on the travel than any others in his life. It was mere weeks after our return from thirteen months on the road that I learned I was pregnant, and honestly, I didn’t feel like going much of anywhere. We had one quick trip to New York that winter but otherwise we pretty much stayed put until Teddy was born.
The summer Tommy turned three, we took our first major trip as a family of four, spending several weeks in Vermont as we’d often done before (and have done every summer since). It was here that I realized the challenge of traveling with two children under the age of five: They don’t really take a vacation. Out of his element and cranky as a result, Teddy was up repeatedly every night wanting to nurse or just cuddle. And the fact that we were on the road didn’t stop Tommy’s tendency to get up at an unforgiving hour. My favorite photo from that trip is this one:
I’m guessing it was about 8 a.m. and the three of us had all been awake for at least three and a half hours. Who looks the most tired?
But even though I was exhausted, it was still a pleasure to wake each morning to Vermont’s summer lushness and to introduce Teddy to the swimming hole while Tommy, as always, poked about and threw rocks, and generally enjoyed the golden days that seemed both endless and too short.
Tommy’s fourth year was pretty much the same; we took lots of day trips, but our longer journeys were limited to Vermont. It was our travel training ground, the one place we consistently visited for Thanksgiving and summer until Tommy turned six and we were ready for major adventures again. I think it was OK that we took a bit of a hiatus during that more challenging time and limited our travel somewhat. In fact, I’m a big believer in having someplace special you can return to as a family – a place that is not quite home, yet is familiar and comfortable. A place where you can relax and focus on one of the greatest pleasures of family travel: Uninterrupted time spent together. Even if some of that time does happen at unfortunately early hours of the morning.