Recently my wife and I took a trip to France to visit my brother in-law Alex and his wife Katie. Not only was this the first trip to France for both of us, but it was also the first international trip for our daughter Aniston. I thought you may appreciate the effects of a 1-year old on the most romantic city on earth.
- International Flight + 1 Year Old = I think Bill Cosby describes it best when talking about Jeffery.
- Leisurely Walks Down Charming Streets + 1 Year Old = Carrying a dead-weight, jet-lagged, hysterical baby to a train station and throwing out L1-L5 of your vertebral column while every French person possibly condemns you with their stares.
- Public Transportation Metro Trains + 1 Year Old = Carrying a stroller loaded down with no baby but a baby backpack, camera bag, souvenirs, and umbrellas up and down 15- 20 flights of stairs as we transfer to 3 different lines. Upside is that in no way do you need to work-out while on vacation.
- Quaint Persian Hotel + 1 Year Old = Cramming your jet lagged child into a newly purchased tent big enough for a 1 year old at 2:00 in the morning as she is screaming. This can only be compared to the grandma who wrapped up her cat for a present in Christmas Vacation. Then finally giving in and letting her sleep on the bed with you which requires you and your wife to contort your bodies to form what can only be described as a UFC octagon to keep her penned in.
- Relaxing Pillow Talk With Your Wife + 1 Year Old = Whispering so quietly to each other (so as to not wake your child that finally went to sleep) that CIA microphones could not pick up the sound.
- Romantic French Bistros + 1 Year Old = Trying to order a grilled cheese sandwich that isn't lit on fire when it gets to your table while ordering food for yourself you can't pronounce.
- Flavorful French Cuisine + 1 Year Old = The most regular child on the planet who may break the record for most dirty diapers in a 9-day period of time previously held by an 88 year old man in Milwaukee.
- French Crepes + 1 Year Old = Your daughter's new favorite food and the necessity to buy stock in Nutella.
- Watching an International Basketball Game + 1 Year Old = Only two words needed: Despicable Me.
- Vineyard Tours + 1 Year Old = Dad left in the backseat of a Volkswagen Golf while the 1 year old that missed her nap writhes and screams so much that every window in the car fogs up. The silver lining turns out that she likes writing in the fog she created on the windows, but there was still so much of it that my wife had to knock on the windows to see if we were still alive.
The Final Verdict: One of the coolest trips I've been on and I loved every second of it with my family.
You see that is what we are, a family. Families include all the good stuff like giggles and impromptu hugs, but also screams and tantrums. Families include parents that kiss each other and parents that want to strangle each other. Families include good times and not so good times, but through it all it is a family.
Don't get me wrong I love time alone with Cherie and we are not opposed to taking a few days to our self while someone watches Aniston, but that's not the norm. The norm is that we do things as a family, live life as a family, and represent God as a family.
You don't give up on a family when things get tough. You don't call it quits on a family when you hit a bump. You don't leave one family for another family that looks better.
You enjoy, work, encourage, endure, mold, pray for, laugh with, and honor the family God has given you through good and bad.
I know this trip allowed me to take stock on how blessed I am to have the family God gave me. Maybe you can take a step back and look at the family God has given you Perhaps you need to realize that your family may not always be the most romantic thing to look at, but it is a blessing that He gave you and in the end it's always worth the effort.