We live about 15 minutes from the beach.
I’m talking Northern California Beach, which is a breed of beach that is in a class of its own. These are waves to love with caution, these are currents and tides to fear. The ocean up here is a powerful, cold goddess that demands respect.
I rarely go to the beach with the kids. It’s a simple matter of being scared that Moxie and Mack will divide and conquer – both run in opposite directions and leave me with paralyzing terror in my gut and legs incapable of chasing small bodies in different directions at the same time.
With that undertow and the murderous ocean currents, I won’t risk it.
But when our friends came to visit, it was perfect. Kristin and I took the kids to the beach for a picnic.
The thing about friends? It’s incredible how much courage they can lend. I mean, just their being there makes everything easier, doesn’t it?
One concern about traveling with kids tends to be friends: “will the kids make friends?”, “who will the kids play with?”, “what about you and your own friends?”
Every one of those questions is valid.
There are definitely moments while traveling when it’s hard because the kids want to hang out with other kids – and the other kids are in school. Or they have their own groups. Micah especially has a hard time with that – he wants friends with a fiendish desperation born of a child who is being urged to homeschool.
But the fact of the matter is, he’s a sharp, soft cookie with hard nuts.
I mean, he’s SMART. And he’s sensitive. And he’s not always easy. This isn’t likely to be helped by his being a child who was born to parents who suck at knowing the right thing to say/do that would help him out at this point.
So while traveling might be hard for the kids in some ways, it’s infinitely easier in others.
It’s easier because when they actually do make friends (and they always do), they make friends that are easy to keep because they are the same type of kid; same type of crazy parent who will take them overlanding or whatever.
I think that’s something that every parent who wants to travel but is hesitant about on account of their child and concern over their friendships should keep in mind.
Your child will make friends; you will also make friends. And the friends you make are friends that will gel with you in a way that your friends next door in the city won’t. Ever.
We say to our boy now to be patient, take his time, because this process takes time. Friends take time. They are the family you choose, they are the nets that will catch you, the love that will boost you, and you them.
They are precious and like all that is precious in this world, they are worth waiting to find.