Many of the posts related to travel on this site have to do with missing our children, the impact on them of our being absent for periods of time, and the varying degrees of guilt and non-guilt we feel when pulled away by our work. I can offer a simple reason for this: we miss our kids.
Now onto something—hopefully—less painfully obvious.
Beyond just missing them there is the added disappointment that some of the places that I visit would be of great benefit for my children to see (not Ellie yet, but eventually). Israel, whatever your religious and political views (personally I have almost none) must be one of the world’s most fascinating, mysterious, tragic, and invigorating countries. I won’t dip into postcard language—but hell, everything here is a postcard, and whatever isn’t is still worth experiencing from some other perspective, whether it’s a highway checkpoint on a road that largely excludes Palestinians, or the six flavors of odd Christianity (Ethiopian, Maronite, Orthodox, Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Armenian—am I getting this right?) pushing beards (and habits) against each other in the Old City, or any number of other things I’m too lazy to describe.
Which is why JP should be here! I doubt that any of this will make sense to him from description. He has no context for the imagery and aromas of the Third World (which in so many ways this is). He’s only recently begun to draw distinctions between Manhattan and Brooklyn. Undoubtedly it would be a titanic pain in the ass to have him or the baby here (it would be really nice to share this with Tomoko, who is as eager a traveler as I am, and far more interested in spiritual matters), but part of being a parent is bearing the burden of the constant, unceasing, head-tapping irritation of having your kids around … because it’s good for them, and most certainly, it’s good for you.
So maybe this post isn’t as innovative as I hoped. I seem, in the end, to have worked my way around to the beginning: I miss my boy (and my girl, and my woman).