I have been a little MIA lately around here and for that I am sorry! I am sure you are all super busy with Christmas and presents and family and parties, just the way it should be! By all means, enjoy the holidays!!
Our little family of four is spending our holiday in Barcelona, Spain. We don’t get to go back to the States for Christmas so we try to make the most of it and hit up some never visited countries on our list. Spain was high on the list because 1.) it’s close 2.) none of us have been there outside of the airport 3.) my son has been studying Spanish and was dying to try the language! So off we went, 9 hours drive and we’re in an entirely different country and culture.
That’s what I love so much about travel. We are really close to Spain. Nine hours to Barcelona but even less to northern Spain. And yet once you cross over it’s so different! The architecture is different, the people are different, the cities are different. I just love it. The world is so diverse, I don’t think this could ever get old.
I’ve had a few thoughts on traveling with our kids though. A couple days ago we visited the Temple Sagrada Familia – one of the most well known buildings in Spain – and then made the hike up to Parc Güell, another famous spot. All they could do was complain about the amount of walking we had to do. (Granted it was quite a bit – and uphill too!) They didn’t care that what they’re doing people only get to do once in a lifetime. They didn’t care that they’ve seen more countries than the average 4 and 7 year old. They didn’t understand one bit the history or significance of these places.
And I was totally discouraged. I mean heck! We could have saved a lot of money and a lot of time by staying in Challans, France and doing Christmas there. They wouldn’t have known the difference!
And that’s entirely true, they wouldn’t have. And they probably wouldn’t have cared. But here’s the thing – our little family looks a lot different than the family I grew up in. Our traditions and family vacations are almost the exact opposite. Not because I didn’t have an amazing childhood – au contraire – I loved the traditions my parents gave us. But because we don’t always have family close by. We have to improvise and make traditions with our little family.
We are not my parents. Our life looks a lot different than there’s did. And you know what? That’s okay. My kids might not remember their first trip to Barcelona. They might not remember scooting around the beach on electronic scooters trying to see how fast they could go. They might not ever remember seeing any famous monuments. But that’s okay. It’s the family bonding that counts! Or maybe one simple memory that stands out and sticks with them for a lifetime. The bond that is formed between us 4. That’s what I’m hoping for.
We’re doing our best to make memories with our kids that work for our family. Not my parents, not his, but ours. Our little family of four. And I love it. I posted something similar (albeit a lot shorter) on Instagram and Facebook and I got some encouraging comments from people who have been there as kids. They might not remember the exact moments, but they do remember the efforts made to be together as a family together on Christmas. They will remember our adventures and that makes my heart happy!
So from our family in Barcelona, Spain to yours – wherever you are enjoying Christmas this year – Merry Christmas!! And I had to include this picture of my son – I mean for real?? Who is this kid? lol! He’s 7!!
And lest we forget the reason for the season – being so thankful for the birth of Jesus so that we could have the opportunity to have eternal life.
Have a GREAT holiday season with family and loved ones and I since I am taking a little Christmas break I will see you guys most likely after the new year!