I remember very clearly being at the zoo when the kids were about 1 and 3, Steve was pushing a fully loaded double stroller up a hill and he turned to me and said,"Won't it be nice when they grow up and we can just go places and not have all this hassle?" At that moment I wholeheartedly agreed with him, going somewhere without car seats, strollers, or a diaper bag, sounded heavenly. There is a sheer physicality to parenting small children that is exhausting. I loved, loved, loved, having little kids, but after I got rid of the sippy cups and retired the stroller, I looked at my little humans that could buckle themselves into the car and I reveled in their independence.
Now I'm thinking that I had it all wrong. Their independence is vastly overrated and irritating. I preferred when they were small and I was totally in charge. When it was my responsibility to get them ready to go somewhere they were always dressed appropriately for both the occasion and the weather, we were rarely, if ever, late, and we always arrived at our destination with all the necessary accouterments. Not to mention the fact that I could take them anywhere I wanted without any dissent. Seriously, I miss those days. Their independence and my relinquishing control is a natural and necessary part of this whole growing up process, I'm just saying there are times when it's mighty inconvenient.
Getting out the door with my two teenagers might be more difficult than with two toddlers, but I will admit that once we are at our destination the teenagers are fun to have around. As witnessed by our trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. We've been there many times over the years, it's an awesome place.
Beautiful Monterey Bay
watching the otters
Now and Then
the thing that never changes - begging for souvenirs in the gift shop