A mere two years old.
All the way to Canada with my grandmother to visit my auntie and uncle for four weeks.
Did I have a nice time? Did I enjoy it? I’m sure that I did but I have absolutely no recollection apart from a handful of snapshots.
Paul and I are currently discussing our holiday plans for the next couple of years and the question about what age to take the boys to Disney in Florida has cropped up and is it worth going if they won’t remember it.
We’re thinking of going two years from now but Paul is cautious. He thinks of the long flight, the change in time zones, the impact on the boys’ sleep routines, the expense. All of this and they’ll be unlikely to recall a single moment.
I, on the other hand, expect that every single day won’t be idyllic but think that the boys will have a marvellous time. And as a parent, is there a greater experience than seeing your children smile and hearing them laugh? Disney is such a magical place for children. I’d love to see their reaction. CK would be in his element there already and in two years’ time, I’m sure BB would feel just the same.
I was lucky enough to travel abroad frequently as a child and even though I don’t remember every trip, I firmly believe that the experiences we have when we’re young make us who we are today. I flew by myself for the first time when I was 12 years old (I was dropped off at passport control in Manchester airport and met in arrivals at Naples) and moved to Switzerland when I was 28. Would I have done either of these things, both with complete ease, if I hadn’t been introduced to the world of travel so young? Maybe, but probably not.
So it is worth taking a child on holiday if they won’t remember it?
I’m going to say, yes. I look at these three photographs taken in Canada and smile. I look at them and remember how wonderful my grandmother was. I look at them and shake my head and grin at how delightfully funny my auntie is. I look at them with memories that I don’t really have but of a time that I’m truly grateful for. A time that has contributed to making me the person that I am today.
Disney, we’ll see you in spring 2015!
What do you think? Do you believe children are moulded by things they experience even though they don’t remember them? Or would you rather save special trips for when they’re older?