Anyone who knows me, knows I like to travel.
The very first trip I ever took was home from the hospital. Back when I was born, women were encouraged to feed their babies Carnation milk. Authorities thought it was safer and better for the baby. Mothers were kept in the hospital for a full week. The hospital bill is in my baby book. Can you believe they only charged $48 for mom’s and my hospital stay and use of the delivery room. The doctor charged $10.
On our the third day in the hospital the physician came into my mother’s room.
“We have a problem,“ he said.
“Is there something wrong with the baby?” my mom asked.
“No, she is as healthy as a horse, and that is the problem—she is eating all our profits. Please take her home.”
They sent me home early. Actually, I think it was Mom who was most happy. She hadn’t been be able to get a decent cup of coffee in the hospital. If you have ever had hospital coffee you know what I mean.
Mom and Dad brought me home. This was before the days of car seats so it was pretty easy.
Just out of curiosity, did you come home from the hospital in a car seat? If you did, you may not know what I’m talking about.
This was before the National Commission on Child Safety, OSHA, air quality commissions, poison control, child social services, food stamps, or low income housing—all that stuff.
They brought me into the house, put me on the couch, pulled the coffee table over and put pillows around me so I wouldn’t slide off the couch. Mom told my 2 year-old sister to watch me.
Then Mom went to the kitchen to have her cup of coffee with my father.
All of the sudden she heard me crying—a blood curdling yell, and she comes running. When she gets to the living room couch, she sees my foot is in my sister’s mouth. My sister has bitten my toe.
Would you call that my introduction to sibling rivalry?
With that kind of reception, is it any wonder I wanted to leave home-to travel?
The next “trip” I remember was when I was three. My mom and I got into an argument.
As arguments frequently do, this one spiraled out of control, at least for me.
I told my mom she was a meanie and I was going to run away from home.
“Where will you go?” Mom asked.
I was young. I hadn’t thought that far.
“I’ll go to Mrs. Gales, my babysitter. She loves me. “
“She wouldn’t want a you. I pay her to babysit.”
I didn’t have an answer for that, but it did get me thinking.
My Mom found a little suitcase.
“Here, let me help you pack.“
We put some shorts , t shirts, socks and underwear in the suitcase.
We put in a clean pair of pajamas , my toothbrush and my teddy bear Mr. Woolybear.
“Would you like me to make you a sandwich before you go?” Mom asked.
“No!” I said.
I was a delightful child.
Mom pushed me out the door, handed me my suitcase and told me to let her know where I bounced.
By this time, I’m starting to cry, but I’m not about to give up and I’m not about to let my mom see my tears.
I take the suitcase, march down the steps, walk to the sidewalk and then turn to walk to the end of the block.
When I get there, I sit down on the curb and finally cry my eyes out.
Not because my mom doesn’t love me, not because nobody loves me, but because I can’t go any farther. I’m not allowed to cross the street without an adult.
Obviously, after I cried myself out I had to go home and ask my mom if I could stay—and I had to say I was sorry.
I’ve had lots of trips and travels since that day. On each one I’ve learned valuable information and lessons. I hope I ’ll be able to share some of those stories with you in the future.
Until that time let me leave you with this first piece of travel advice. It is always best and easiest to end problems by saying, I’m sorry.