Ian enjoying the details of his giant cupcake at Universal Studios
Traveling with my parents was such a wonderful experience for me on so many levels. I will admit, however, that I did have a bit of anxiety in the weeks and days leading up to this trip.
From the day we invited them right up until the day we left, worries filled my mind. As I have mentioned before, my mom had never flown on an airplane so there was the worry that she wouldn't handle flying well. I also worried the children would get on my parent's nerves- they can be loud and winy and obnoxious at times- and when you aren't used to having children around, well, sometimes it can be too much.
I worried about my mom worrying about being able to keep up with us. Her feet hurt every day, and she walks slow. I knew she was worried about slowing us down and so I worried about her worrying. (Isn't it exhausting to be me?)
But mom did just fine on the flights and the kids behaved surprisingly well. Mom's feet caused her almost unrelenting pain. And yes, having them with us did slow us down- but I'm not sure anyone noticed but me. Because slowing down ended up being one of the highlights of my vacation.
There was more time to visit, there was a sense of calmness and peace as we wandered through the theme parks. Usually when we travel, we hurry from one attraction to the next with must do's and must see's filling our daily schedule.
This time it was different. And because of that- I learned a great lesson.
You know the saying, "Don't forget to stop and smell the roses?" My parents do that. They notice every little detail.
It was awesome for me to watch my dad examine each ride- watching to see the metal railways bow and flex as the car of the ride zoomed past, or to see how many rivets they used to secure it.
"Look at the detail in the wood of that carving" my mom said to me. I hadn't even noticed the artwork that was across from me let alone the detail.
"Look at the birds, look at those flowers, the cactus, the way this is built, the way...". They noticed it all.
Things I normally would rush by and never notice or even think about were pointed out to me as we slowly made our way from one ride to the next.
I learned, from spending this time with them, that there is something I have been missing out on. When all you focus on is in getting from point A to point B, you are blind to all that is in between. My parents have figured that out.
I hope I never forget this vacation where I learned to slow down. To stop and look at the details around me.
There is so much visual richness in this world to see, and so much to be missed if you are only focused on what's ahead.