July 26, 2011

Nature & Nurture

Filed under: Kids and Life,The Writing Life — jenny @ 3:30 pm

Books and bookstores were some of the finest treasures on the westward leg of our journey, but there were a few other things worth mentioning, too.

Colorado RiverFirst of all, traveling with kids–even with ones who consider a trip to a bookstore a high point of the day–necessitates scheduling in some stretch time, or time to get their sillies out as my daughter’s first grade teacher puts it.

We learned our lesson on this front last year on the drive. It’s not that the kids wouldn’t be perfectly happy by hour six, it’s that me and my husband would be pounding on glass to get out of the car.

The back seat was at that point turned into a combination funplex/football field/comedy club–comedy being a generous term for jokes pitched at the five-seven year old set.

Red Cliffs Of UtahThis year the kids could do even more hours in the car, so long as we planned in some playground stops. And swims. And even an all out hike.

It’s funny, our youngest learned to ride a bike this year and we are about one tight turn and getting-the-thing-started away from being able to ride as a family. Both kids are getting more comfortable in the water, although I wouldn’t call them swimmers yet. But I can imagine being able to do some of the more rugged stuff we had to put on hold during the baby years. It’s not here yet, but it’s coming.

Wasatch Mountains
Which is an identity shift of sorts. I still need to assist with shampooing after swim lessons–but I won’t for long. Not for always anyway. Once it was impossible to picture *not* needing to do these things; now it’s impossible to pretend that I always will.

I’ve nurtured them, and now we’re reaching a point where they’ll soon bike faster than I do. They’ll be pushing to take the longer hike.

Taylor Swift, Speak Now
Across the country we listened to Taylor Swift. I like her–and was glad to read Stevie Nicks’ view that she’s really much more than a creation of the pop music machine–but my kids *love* her. One activity that kept them occupied on the road was learning the lyrics to the songs on her latest album.

Album. A word for something my kids have never even played. Another sign that one day what I know will be outdated–and the next generation will come in. Hike in.

Here’s one that pretty much sums up our voyage out–and maybe even sums up all of our voyages.

if we’re lucky, we got nurtured along the way, or we nurture our little ones, or maybe somebody else.

But only for a time.


  1. I wish my kids liked cool music. LOL. Actually, they do like a few good ol’ 70s stuff….My son used to sing “I gotta me” to “I got a name,” and they like the soundtrack to The Last Unicorn (because Mommy loves it). :) Your trip looks beautiful!

    Comment by Savvy — July 26, 2011 @ 4:49 pm

  2. I remember when we took our three daughters on cross country trips. They learned to love travel, and they still like it today as adults.

    That’s beautiful country out there. Enjoy your trip and make happy memories!


    Comment by Mary Montague Sikes - Monti — July 26, 2011 @ 5:25 pm

  3. I love Taylor Swift! (I thought I was the only person over 25 who did.) See now? I feel better that I no longer have this guilty secret. :-)

    Thanks for sharing this, Jenny! Watching your little ones “disappear” is bittersweet, I’m sure, but as you said, you have many family adventures to look forward to as they grow older.

    Comment by Lauren S — July 26, 2011 @ 5:49 pm

  4. I find it so interesting that we are at similar yet totally dissimilar points in our child rearing experience — your kids are losing those baby/toddler needs and learning to ride bikes, which feels independent and exciting, as well as a little sad to you,and my kids are teenagers who are quickly moving into adulthood, which I also find independent and exciting, as well as a little sad. :)

    Comment by Judy — July 26, 2011 @ 6:20 pm

  5. Oh Jenny, I’ve been having those moments regulary with my lil one. Seeing how independent he’s getting. The trip sounds amazing and I’m totally envious. lol

    Maybe one day, we’ll caravan with you across.

    Comment by Karyne — July 28, 2011 @ 10:58 am

  6. I gave up trying to travel with my brood – other than flying to Disneyland – we bought an RV and a membership in a very nice campground that’s on 1/2 hr drive from our house and that does us just fine. I’ll wait till the last 5 grow up before I try another *real* travel trip.

    Comment by Brenda McCreight — July 28, 2011 @ 2:45 pm

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