I expected a different outcome. For example if you were to give your children three choices for dinner: 1. Pizza 2. Noodles or 3. Cow liver, you would expect a fight to ensue between them over the pizza vs. noodles while the cow liver option is not even discussed.
Because they are kids. Little kids still in many ways and some things make sense to them. Like Pizza. And Disney.
Last year we decided to make going on a family vacation a priority. My husband hates when I talk about this, but I’m putting it out there because nothing is his fault or my fault or anyone’s fault, it’s just how we’ve all made sacrifices to raise our family. We decided that I would stay home with the kids while Jed started his own business. Both decisions were risky – we lost our insurance, our steady and larger income and security – but we did it because we decided it was important for me to be home and we had a certain amount of confidence in Jed’s business. And that family time was more important than money. I still believe this. But things like family vacations have taken a hit.
For a few years not having a big getaway didn’t seem like a big deal, but eventually I could tell that both of us were feeling like a big part of us was missing. We were both travelers before kids. Heck, we met on a flight to Bangkok. And we know that one of the biggest gifts we can give our kids is the gift of showing them the world.
Knowing we could plan for one big trip and it would be awhile before we could do this again, we decided to make a budget and a plan and let the kids choose the vacation based on what we could afford. We have been talking to them about Disney, as we have never been, and the whole “Is it a requirement for kids to go to Disney as least once while they are little guilt” was heavy on my heart last year – so we decided to make that an option as well.
So we sat the kids down last January and told them that we could take a big vacation and these were the options they got to choose from:
1. A week in Disney World
2. A week on a cruise(Maybe a Disney cruise even)
3. A week at an all inclusive resort in Mexico or the Caribbean.
4. A week in Europe(probably just Amsterdam and Paris) – but we may have to delay our trip until the following Spring.
5. Two weeks in Costa Rica at a rental house on the beach
I honestly expected three votes for Disney as we had talked about it so much and they’ve heard so many stories from friends about going there. And we would’ve been okay with their decision and maybe a door of guilt would finally close.
But not one of them yelled out Disney. All three said “COSTA RICA!”
And then we knew they were all really our children. Because they also choose sushi over pizza most days.
So we are heading to Costa Rica with the knowledge this means The Mouse is probably dead to us and we have all accepted that and moved on. Moved on to Costa Rica this year and maybe a safari in Africa in a few years and then maybe a trek to Nepal or Thailand- back to where we met and our family journey started. And along the way I want to show them my apartment in Amsterdam and the castle where we married in Scotland.
And start making some global memories for our family.
Because I know this is only the beginning.