Hello! from an MIT papa as I write this guest blog for my good friend MIT Mommy. The fact that she is currently on vacation out west with her family reminds me of an upcoming trip I will be taking with my older daughter, her husband and their two children.
We too will be heading west, flying to El Paso, where lives my late wife's brother and his family. We will visit Carlsbad Caverns, then depart westward from El Paso through Tucson, Phoenix and on to Grand Canyon for a couple of days. We will then pass through Four Corners on the way to Mesa Verde, before heading back down to Phoenix for a couple of days and then home.
Carlsbad Caverns and the El Paso to Mesa Verde portion of the trip will be "deja vu all over again", to quote Yogi Berra, for my daughter. My wife and I and our daughters covered the exact same territory when the girls were 13 and 11. We had a wonderful time! Not entirely coincidentally, the grandchildren are 13 and nearly 11.
Here's the fun of it! As I drove mile after mile of the southwest, my wife and daughters were mainly reading books they had brought along or bought when they ran out of those. From time to time I would say "Look, girls, at those beautiful mountains, or that pretty waterfall, or whatever." They would look up briefly from their books, say "yuck!", and go back to their reading. Yet as my older daughter was talking up our upcoming trip, and its car ride, with her own children a couple of weeks ago, I heard her say "The scenery is spectacular!" How does she know?! Needless to say I did not call her on that in front of the grandchildren!
Carlsbad Caverns will be interesting too! As you enter the caverns, the opening in the hillside is very big, and the trail heads down steeply with a railing on the side where there is a fall-off. Our daughters were fascinated looking over the railing, and with the whole descent. My wife and mother-in-law, who was with us, were worried the whole time that the girls would fall. More recently, my wife and I accompanied our younger daughter, her husband and their two sons, aged 6 and 3, to the same caverns. This time our daughter, now a parent, was petrified that her boys might fall! She told us right then and there that she couldn't believe she hadn't been afraid when she was there as a chilld, that she had forgotten how much of a drop there was, and if she had remembered she might not have wanted to come again. I will be interested to see how my older daughter reacts when we visit there shortly!
Isn't it fascinating how our perspectives change as parents! I'm guessing that you have, or will, make similar discoveries. Anyway, have a safe and enjoyable summer! You too, MIT Mommy!