This Travelkins post comes to us from Anna Whitworth. She resides in Chicago and shares with us what it was like to travel to her homeland, Poland, with her little babiekin, Simon.
Having been born in Poland, it was always engrained in my mind that my offspring would share in my heritage. Ever since I gave birth to Simon, I knew I wanted to plant a seed of love in his heart. A love for Poland, its culture and its language. It all began with him still under my heart, he flew over the ocean twice, and there his polish journey began.
At least once a year, I take him back to my homeland, our homeland. As he evolved from an infant into a toddler, my fears and excitements related to the trip also changed and evolved with him. The First year, as a 6-month-old infant, I worried constantly about his sleep deprivation caused by the time change. A year later, at 18 months, it was mostly about his food intake, and his acceptance of completely new flavors and textures.
This year, I worried if my 2.5 year-old boy would actually like enjoy his visit to Poland. With his needs and wants so clear and visible, his finely cut ways of doing things, I was worried that such an elongated trip to a different part of the world would turn his world upside down. To my surprise, it didn’t. He loved everything and every minute of it. I know it’s easy to think “oh such obvious claims”, but he did! And did so much more than I gave him credit for. I was the one that was scared and needed to adjust. I was fearful of the tears and sadness and unfamiliarity and the “no nooooos” and his “off” days. However, day after day, he surprised and amazed me with his enthusiasm, his pure and simple drive for the discovery of another world; a world in which he so quickly fell in love with. He made my heart grow twice as big. I loved seeing him enjoy the places that I remember from when I was just a bit older than him. His pure unadulterated joy made me the proudest, and allowed me to see these places in yet another light. Watching the nostalgic world of my childhood, through the excited eyes of my own child was the experience I will never forget. When I moved away from Poland, my life reset, I had to start over. Simon became my vessel between these two different lives and worlds of mine. He connects them, ties them back together and makes me whole again. He glues the separate continents of my heart back into one.
And I know when we go next year, it will be a different story and a new fear, yet a new beauty. I cannot wait for that, for our trip. My little travel buddy and I. Here’s to new quests!