Panda Mom is traveling abroad in Japan right now, so you might not see regular posts from her (er, me) for the next couple of weeks. I have a few concerts to do, but mostly we’ll be spending time visiting friends and relatives, including my best friend from first grade in Osaka, Yukako. I’m completely jet-lagged as I write this, so please forgive me if I sound incoherent.
Oh, can I tell you that we got very fortunate and were bumped up to first class on Delta? What a blessing and a great way to start our two-week stay in Japan! The kids, ages 11 and 13, were almost as excited as I was to find our fully-reclining seats in row 6. I had only admired such seats from behind the curtain all these years, and now I was actually sitting in one of them! It was a red-eye flight. My kids, ever the optimists, asked me to wake them up for the meals after they took a “little nap.” As you can imagine, they then promptly went to sleep and missed both of their first class meals. That’s the downside of those comfy seats in the front of the planes — you might not wake up in time to enjoy the fine china dinner.
We’ve been on the go all day today, taking this train and that while rolling our suitcases along to our destination, the home of our friends Daniel and Yumiko outside Tokyo. I was reminded of when Josh and Meg were in strollers, and how much work it was for me and David to travel with little ones. In fact, we just gave up on travels to Japan for many years. Why go all that way to torture ourselves? Now, not only are they no longer extra baggage for us to handle but they are actually being very helpful. In the years past, I would never have considered traveling to Japan with two kids without David. Now? They’re keeping me company and handling their own bags. I am definitely reaping the rewards of the hard work I put into the early years.
If you’re right in the middle of the busy days of babies and toddlers and are struggling just to make it through each day, trust me when I say this: it is just a season. And it will pass. Some wonderful days with your kids are ahead. Who knows — it might even include first-class travels!
Do your kids travel well? Do you have any traveling horror or success stories? Please share them with us in the comments below.