The Travel Fund
By: Holly Vanderhaar
I should be writing about the ridiculous bill that is on the floor of the state senate in Wisconsin, Senate Bill 507, one that equates single parenthood with child abuse. Either that, or I should vent my spleen about the loathsome Rush Limbaugh and his complete and utter…well. Never mind. I really should write about these things because I’m angry about them, and I think we should all be angry about them. But all of it sickens me and I reserve the right to save my psyche for another day. I’ve decided to dwell instead on something a wee bit lighter and fluffier this week.
There were a number of hopes I cherished when I was pregnant. I hoped that my children would have a sense of humor. I hoped that they would grow to love music, especially the Beatles. I hoped that they would love horses. And I hoped that they would be good travelers. My hopes have been rewarded in every case, save one: they remain stubbornly indifferent to horses. So far. I haven’t given up yet.
I’ve been thinking about the future lately. I refuse to think about Gracie and Isabelle moving away and living their lives without me, ha-ha, so I focus on the things I look forward to instead. I can’t wait to travel, REALLY travel, with them. Money’s been tight for the last several years, so it hasn’t been financially possible anyway, but they also haven’t been old enough to really get much out of travel. Last fall we went to New York City for the first time (the first time for them, anyway; I lived there for a while). They were terrific: walked all over the city with no complaints, loved taking the subway, and managed the crowds—even an Occupy Wall Street demonstration in Times Square—with aplomb. I was so proud of them, and I began to be able to envision a future where we would go to visit friends in California, or go back to New York again for a longer visit, or go to the UK so I can take them to London and Liverpool and Dublin. Maybe I’ll finally get to Italy, and we can discover it together.
I know that, when it comes to your kids, you’re never supposed to wish for time to fly faster. Every grandma in the grocery store says, “Enjoy them. They grow up so fast.” And this is a good age, although most of the ages —bar the first year— have been good. But as my daughters grow up before my eyes, I’m getting a glimpse of the future now and then, and I’ve been thinking about the things I look forward to sharing with them. I’ve come up with some strategies to save money, and I’m going to start that travel fund next month. We’ll send postcards!