May 21, 2012 0 Share

A Trip of Discoveries

Silhouette illustration of woman hiking with two children.

I'm traveling ... again, but this time the whole family is with me. I always end up learning much about myself and my other family members when we spend so much uninterrupted time together. (The good news is we're all still speaking to each other.) When I discover something new about Cameron, it never ceases to profoundly surprise me. 

The first thing I discovered (again) on this trip is that Cameron does not get jet lag. It doesn't matter if we go six hours to the east to Europe or three hours west to California. All that's needed for Cameron to adjust to local time is for him to set his watch, and he's done. He wants to eat at appropriate times and he falls asleep at appropriate times. A few summers back, we went to visit my in-laws in France, and Cameron was having breakfast at 7:30 from the first morning we arrived. The rest of us struggled to get out of bed before noon. This trip has been the same thing with regards to Cameron's schedule. It's as if Cameron has no internal clock. I find that fascinating. 

Another discovery I've made on this trip is the magic of water. I remember reading one of those chain emails with a list of parenting tips, in which one of the tips was: "If children are unhappy, put them in water." I was reminded of that tip as I watched Cameron and his sister play in the hotel pool yesterday afternoon. We had spent the majority of the day in the car together, and barely two words were exchanged between them. But watching them in the pool together was like seeing two completely different children. And it went on for more than an hour. Usually exchanges between the two are short-lived, like a quick chase around the dining room table while getting ready for dinner. But they spent an hour in the water together yesterday, totally engaged with one another. (And the best part was I wasn't constantly being begged by my daughter to come in the pool with her.) Cameron also spent some time in the hot tub yesterday, which seemed to make conversation easier for him. He and I discussed our trip so far, and I overheard him talking with other guests that joined him in the hot tub. I'm seriously considering getting one at home, as they are much quieter than that creaky old swing he uses to release energy. Maybe this is the age appropriate solution I've been looking for! 

Last night, Cameron actually gave me my first taste of what it's like to have a teenager. When we came home from dinner, he decided to take a walk around the hotel. He's done this several times since we've been here, so it wasn't anything out of the ordinary. But when 9:00 rolled around, I started to get a bit antsy. (I realize that 9:00 is when most 17-year-olds go out for the evening, but Cameron's bedtime routine usually starts at that time.) I joked to my husband, "Maybe he has crashed a wedding in the hotel." Without being asked, my husband went out to find Cameron, and returned within two minutes. I guess Cameron is about over all this togetherness time and needed some time alone. But he hasn't complained one bit, and I am very grateful for his "roll with the punches" attitude. I realize that he is unique in that regard. Actually, Cameron is unique in any regard. That must be why I so enjoy the adventure of being his mom. (Most of the time.)