The Great Thing About Travel, Change and Kids

ImageI’m eavesdropping on my son’s new class, hoping (and fretting) as any mother would, that he will adjust well.

But deep inside, I know it won’t be a problem. Because of our traveling lifestyle, our son has grown up a very friendly, outgoing child, with never any problems integrating into a new culture.

I was always amazed when in Italy, he would play with the neighborhood kids. They didn’t speak a word of each others’ language, yet they would enjoy playing on the street behind our house, or down by the lake for hours, and somehow understand each other.

That’s the beauty of being a child. When life changes the circumstances around you, you aren’t yet set in your habits, and can easily develop new ones.

The other day, as the taxi driver helped us unload groceries and bring them to our doorstep, my son spoke to him:

“Thanks, Manny,” he said aloud, “you’re quite busy today!” (He had asked him his name previously, during the ride home)

The small exchange between him and the taxi driver made me stop and think. Over the last few days, all I had associated the taxi drivers with was rip-off charges and speeding. And here was my three-year-old, contemplating the very busy day he had had.  

In the school room next door, I now overhear his teacher, introducing him to the class, who are all a year older: “This is your new classmate, be nice to him because he’s just a baby.”

“I’m not a baby, I’m a big boy,” he corrects her loudly.

I smile to myself; I have nothing to be anxious about. Integration comes naturally to this three-year-old. I hope he carries that confidence with him for the rest of his life.

Lago di Como
Italy, 2012. My son on the right side of the merry-go-around, with the blue sunhat.