Lifestyle

The Mom Stop: Traveling shoes run in my family

Lydia Seabol Avant More Content Now
Posted: Jan. 29, 2019 7:36 am Updated: Jan. 29, 2019 7:37 am

There is a story in my family that, like a lot of stories from childhood, somehow get told over and over through the years. Apparently I was 3-years-old, riding in the backseat of my family’s Ford Escort on the way home from preschool, when I asked if my mother had a map of China. No, she replied, and said she wondered why I would need a map.

“What is the sea near Hong Kong?” I asked her next, as the story goes. My mom was shocked that, at 3-years-old, I even knew what Hong Kong was, let alone the fact that it was fronted by water.

My parents and grandparents later would point to this story as I developed a passion for travel as a kid. I went to Europe for the first time on a solo flight at age 14 and I traveled by rail across Norway and on a cruise to Denmark without adults. Later, after studying abroad in college, I had a map of the world up on the wall of my bedroom. Multicolored pins marked the places I had been, dotting much of Europe and the U.S., some of Mexico and Costa Rica, but red pins dotting the places I wanted to go but had yet to visit.

I’ve always had a love of travel, and of maps in particular.

I was reminded of this when, on a trip to Disney World last year, my then 2-year-old daughter carried around a theme-park map like it was an object of comfort, well creased and worn. Half the time she was holding the map upside down, but she would hold it up in front of her face as we walked regardless, seemingly deciding where to go. You could say she’s a chip off the old block.

Last weekend, while on a shopping trip with her grandmother, my daughter, now 3, relished in picking out her own clothes at the mall - a new experience for her. As the youngest child of three, most of her clothes are either hand-me-downs or bought from consignment. But as a special treat, my mother took her shopping. My youngest child bounced from one rack to another, shouting “I LUB DIS!” when she found an item she loved, or “THIS IS MY FABORITE!” (The letter V is still somewhat of a challenge for her.)

While surrounding herself with a pile of leggings imprinted with unicorns and butterflies, and T-shirts featuring words emblazoned in glitter, my preschooler dashed across the little girls clothing section and pointed excitedly up to a rack of shirts on display.

“It’s PARIS!” she exclaimed, pointing to the shirt that featured a drawing of the Eiffel Tower.

“I lub Paris,” she said. “You can go to Paris, and they have Paris food, and you can eat it and it’s really yummy,” she told us. “I want to go, but it costs a million dollars.”

My mom and I stood there in shock, staring at my bubbly preschooler as she went on and on about the capital city of France. I didn’t even know she knew that Paris was a place, let alone know that the Eiffel Tower was located there.

Sometimes you never know what is going to come out of a preschooler’s mouth, or where they learned the things they do. But that day at the mall, my daughter got her Paris shirt. And sometime, I’m going to make her some “Paris food,” and one day, maybe she’ll eventually go to Paris. Hopefully.

As far as Hong Kong, it’s still on my list.
Lydia Seabol Avant writes The Mom Stop for The Tuscaloosa News in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Reach her at lydia.seabolavant@tuscaloosanews.com.

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