Saturday, 30 March 2013

Children welcome.

“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.”
Angela Schwindt

This week we walked into a pizza restaurant to find that immediately the children were beckoned into the kitchen to be shown the giant wood burning pizza oven, the littlest being lifted up to make sure he had a good view, it was a memorable and delicious meal, the staff really made it an experience and we have come across many instances where the children have been so positively welcomed.


As we travelled through France the children were fussed over and encouraged in their attempts at speaking the language and generally included. In Spain the children are positively embraced as an important part of the community. They have been lifted on shoulders by strangers to ensure they have the best possible view at big public events, had their hair ruffled by many shop keepers and generally welcomed wherever we go. There is a general feeling that children are important and included in Spanish society. I love seeing the rows of elderly gentlemen sat on the benches around the park watching the children playing, in some societies this is seen as suspicious behaviour, in others it is seen as natural and positive, I know which I prefer.


I was recently reading an interesting and somewhat lively discussion about the ethics of travelling with children. The majority travelling with children relate many instances like those above and (perhaps naturally?) point to all the positive aspects like meeting and understanding other cultures. The discussion raised many interesting points, mainly both sides of the argument felt that they were right and that their particular way of bringing up a child or living as a family was the only correct way, which to me is just not logical. Every child’s needs are different, every families approaches are different.


We have many friends and family members who are having their own fantastic adventures, some admittedly unplanned – maybe restarting a new life in a new place, bringing a new child into a family, living with a life changing condition, riding in a hot air balloon or planning a wedding. I want to hear about their adventures because I am fascinated in what they are up to, I might not want to get a tattoo but I support your right to do it and will look forward to seeing the pictures. I know several people who would not undertake what we are, not because they can’t but just because they have no desire to, it doesn’t make either of us right or wrong it makes us different and its differences which make life more interesting.

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