"Going new places," said Child #1. "You could even write a blog post called Oh, The Places You'll Go!"
Absolute genius! We are a very joyful family when we venture out to new places. All the picky eating, bedtime silliness, sibling warfare and general crankiness gets set aside in favor of our love of adventure.
I've put my kids on a nineteen hour flight to Thailand ("Mom can we watch? [insert inappropriate movie of your choice here]) Me in midsty of blurry jetlag, "Uh-huh, sure, whatever." But once we touched down, our jetlag faded and we reveled in things like tuktuks and ruins.
And I've driven with my family cross-country to see some of our nation's great treasures. Yellowstone last summer and Yosemite in a few weeks.
What I discovered this winter is, although it's fun, I don't always need to drag my kids across international date lines in order to discover the joy of new places. Sometimes that joy can be discovered right in my own backyard. Take Oregon for example, it's ski country. Something I've managed to ignore for the last six years.
Skiing had a bad rap with me. Until recently it conjured up images of cold hands, frozen toes and boyfriends convincing me I'd be just fine on the black diamond mogul runs. Then this winter, after weeks of rain in the valley and snow on the mountains, I decided we should give it a shot. If for no other reason then to get out of the rain.
"Mom, I want to go on the ski lift with you," my daughter told me. And so we did. Every time the lift swept us up into the air she squealed with excitement.
The first two times she fell down when we left the chair lift. The third time she got it and that, combined with hot cocoa afterwards, was pure joy found in an unexpected place.