on traveling…

Just a few years ago – when I was 19 – I packed up everything I owned into one suitcase and one backpack, I bought a carton of Marlboro lights and a 12 pack of mountain dew and I moved myself from Pennsylvania to California – by train… Three days on the Amtrak Sunset limited with less than $20 in cash and for 72 hours I sat in a seat (no sleeper car for me) and dreamed of my new life in San Diego. I survived seven years with what I brought with me…

And then last week I went to Florida for a week – I took a suitcase of equal size, a diaper bag much bigger than my backpack and a small umbrella stroller. Lucy & I flew on a plane for 2.5 hours, and it was just about all I could take and you know what? I still had to go shopping because 3/4 of that suitcase was her stuff & and one point I really needed another pair of pants…

Before I became a mother I thought parents where crazy for buying so much stuff for their kids – I mean babies are small they should only need small things and not that many of them, right? I was sure everyone was crazy and since I live in a small house I figured I would seriously limit what we needed.

What I’ve learned since then… its not just toys, it’s things to keep them safe, things to keep them clean, things to help them eat… kids need stuff – lots of stuff and sure Lucy probably has twice as many toys as she probably really needs but I blame that on her overzealous grandmothers.

Kids need stuff – they need it at home and they need it away from home… I guess my days of 3 day train trips with nothing but the clothes on my back are just as long gone as my days of smoking… Once I thought that prospect would make me sad, but I wouldn’t give any of it up for anything – who cares if there’s no where to walk in my house and traveling  now requires a pack mule and extra handlers – at least I get to pre-board…

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