One thing I like for my girls to have as a habit, is daily gratitude. I know our lives are not normal. I know that blogging has afforded us some pretty amazing experiences, experiences that money can’t buy. They’ve traveled more in their short lives than I had in the first 30 years of my life. They’re lucky, there is absolutely no denying that. The thing is, this is their normal, and without gratitude and reflection they wouldn’t really get to see that this isn’t normal for most other kids. I want them to know that this life is pretty lucky and amazing, and something they should be grateful for.
Being grateful is something that I’d teach my kids, even if blogging hadn’t happened to me. I was brought up practicing gratitude, and it’s something I’d instill in my kids no matter what journey our life took. With Lacey and Lulu, who is only 3, we’ve been practicing daily reflection for around 18 months now. Over dinner we’ll ask, “What was your favourite thing today?”
I love hearing what they have to say, and the things that I think will be their favourites often don’t rate, but small, beautiful things make their lists instead. It’s one of my most favourite things about life. If you don’t already do it at home, I highly recommend it. As they get older, I’ll change it from ‘favourite’ to ‘grateful’ but for now this really fits with them, and their level of understanding.
Over the weekend, I sat down with a map of the world and some of our photos from the past few years and we talked about the adventures we’ve been on, the places we’ve seen, the foods we’ve tried, the friends we’ve made, and best of all, the memories we’ve created. I wanted to know what they really thought about holidays, just like Wotif has been asking Aussie kids.
I marked out on the map in black, the places we’ve traveled to. I was surprised by how many black dots we marked, but also how much more of the world there was to explore.
And then I asked the girls, “What have been your most favourite bits of it all? What makes a good holiday?”
By this stage Lulu had run off and was playing with her teeny toys under the Christmas tree, trying to open the presents for the billionth time. Lacey was enthralled by the map, recalling how many hours on a plane it takes to get to each place.
“I know what makes a good holiday,” she enthused. She rattled them off to me, and again I was surprised. I knew that the long flights wouldn’t make the list, but the ‘things’ I thought might make the list, didn’t get a look in.
“It’s simple,” she told me, sounding beyond her years, “It’s about making friends first. I love making new friends when we go to new places.” She does. She’s made so many different friends from around the world. Some she stays in touch with, others become just beautiful memories and hopes that they might meet again.
“And then I love seeing new beaches, and swimming!” Ninety-nine percent of our trips revolve around water, so this was bound to make the list. I have two little mermaids on my hands.
“I really like exploring and learning new things, trying new food, eating ice cream in different places, seeing how beautiful everything is, but I really love making new friends.”
What do your kids think makes a good holiday? Is it about the fancy hotels? Or the rollercoasters? Or is about the making friends, the treats, the family time, the laughs? Why don’t you ask them, and start a conversation.
Watch the video here:
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