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A few weeks ago my 10-year old daughter, Mary Grace, came to me in a panic.

“Mom, I have the worst problem. Ever.”

Although the situation sounded grim, I’ve learned to control my response until after I’ve heard what’s actually going on. She has exactly one volume, one tone, and a knack for dramatic delivery. In the last 6 months she’s used that exact same expression at least 20 times.

The problems vary from: “I accidentally deleted my favorite episode of shark week on the DVR” (thank goodness, you have it memorized); to “there’s a bottle of nail polish currently spilling on my carpet” (why the heck are you down here telling me- go pick it up!!!!); to “I finished my Michael Vey book and the next one in the series isn’t out yet” (not much I can do about this…unless Richard Paul Evans is a Mom With A Map follower…in which case, HURRY UP and write another!)

And then, my all time favorite- “Mom, I have the worst problem. Ever.” WHAT? “Umm…I forgot”

5 minutes later- “Oh yeah, Miller got hurt. And he’s bleeding” (He ended up needing stitches!) So, you see why I hold my breath when the words come out of her mouth.

This particular day she went on to explain her distress over a writing assignment. As I mentioned in my post about Worldschool, Mary Grace is enrolled in a university-model school that meets once a week. They also provide all her assignments- and occasionally I haven’t previewed the syllabus- so I had no idea what she was upset about. It finally came out that her assignment involved writing about “My two favorite vacation spots.”

I struggled to see her problem. But then she explained that she could never possibly pick just two favorite vacation spots. Aha- now she was speaking my language!

Exploring the world!

I sat in silence for a few minutes rolling through ALL the possibilities. Such a dilemma! For the first time I considered that this might actually be the worst problem ever. My mind went into overdrive- Hawaii, Disney, Maine, Ireland? Ski trips, cruises, road trips?   And then she said “well, I guess if I have to pick I’d say Carowinds and maybe Great Wolf Lodge.”

Say WHAT? 

I almost fell out of my chair. First of all, we’ve never even been to Carowinds. Secondly, while I LOVE Great Wolf Lodge- it probably wouldn’t make my top 10. I’m sure a good mom would have encouraged and supported their child’s ideas..but I’m a travel blogger! I (nicely) suggested we keep brainstorming. And it led to the most amazing conversation! We talked through so many of our awesome adventures- some of which I’d even forgotten about.

Here comes my point…make memories traveling with your kids.

I LOVED talking to my daughter about our favorite vacation spots. Each time I brought up a specific location, we had dramatically different versions of what we enjoyed about that place. For example- I shard with her how much fun I had in Boston. She instantly agreed. But while I was thinking she could write about the Freedom Trail and Swan Boats- she reminded me about holding the lobster at the restaurant and how many times I tripped on the stairs climbing to the top of the Bunker Hill Monument.

A trip to the bathroom turned into the most unique petting zoo experience!

I need to remember as I plan travel that it isn’t always about the grand gestures and larger-than-life experiences. Sometimes it’s the accidental or impromptu moments that stand out the most to our children. It’s all about doing things together as a family and making memories!

Because I’m sure you’re all dying to know- she settled on two awesome places: Hilton Head Island and Florida. While they may not be the most unique or farthest away- at least she’s been to both (I’m still laughing about Carowinds!) And at the end of the day, I’m just glad the assignment wasn’t for me- narrowing it down to just 2 places really would be my “worst problem ever!”

How would you answer her writing assignment? 

*And, for the record, we’re taking her to Carowinds this week!*

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