How a 3-year-old ends up with a bucket list

I blame it on “Mommy Brain” and the fact that I’m almost 40, but I can’t remember anything these days. When I have an idea or a thought I’ll need to remember at a later time, I need to immediately write it down; otherwise, it falls into an abyss, never to be recollected. So today, as I was sitting with Lucia while she ate her lunch, I was coming up with ideas for future blog posts. It was quite the solo brainstorming session; I came up with three or four doozies. I knew I’d have to write them down right that second or I’d never be able to remember them again. The closest items in my reach, with which to record written words, were a spiral notebook with not one clean sheet of paper, and a brown crayon. Better than nothing, right? I grabbed the notebook and the crayon and scribbled down my ideas. Lucia was totally befuddled: why was I using HER paper and HER crayon?! I’m one of those parents that are very honest with my child. She asks me a question and I give her a straight answer (with discretion in certain situations, of course). So I explained why I needed to quickly write down some stuff and then she wanted to know what I’d written. Going with that whole honesty thing again, I began with item #1: Italy bucket list.

I got no further.

“Mommy, what’s a bucket list?” I replied, “It’s a list of things people want to do, or places they want to go, before they die.” I know she’s my kid and all, but she amazes me sometimes. She completely understood the concept of a bucket list and said, “Mommy, I’m going to write my bucket list.” I’m also one of those parents that don’t stifle their child’s creativity, especially when it comes to writing, so I said, “Ok. I’ll help you.”

Bucket List Word Cloud #2 by mccmicb

The following is Lucia’s Bucket List, including my very own interpretations (she is only 3, after all):

  1. Go to a park. I wrote it down for her but said, “Lucia, you’ve been to several parks before. Do you mean a park like Central Park in New York, or Yellowstone National Park?” Her response, “Yes, if there are slides and a sandbox and see-saws.” Ok, so it’s a slow start.
  2. Go see flowers. Of course, I heard “Go to Holland for the Tulip Festival.”
  3. Go on a carousel. Again, I had to tell her, “Lucia, you’ve been on a carousel before.” She replied, “I know but I want to go again.” Well, I guess I’ll have to take her back to Florence so she can ride the huge, gorgeous carousel in Piazza della Repubblica.
  4. Go to the movie theater. She’s already been to the theater for a vaudeville show. Perhaps she wants to see “Skyfall”, every traveler’s dream movie?
  5. Go to Australia to see koalas.This is an improvement from “that place far away to see those little animals that climb trees very well.” She said that a couple of weeks ago and, strangely, I knew exactly what she meant.

    Me & a koala, almost 20 years ago.

  6. Go on a rocket ship to outer space and visit all the planets. She dreams big.
  7. Go to the South Pole. She’s not going without me!

I didn’t put her up to this, I promise.

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24 Responses to How a 3-year-old ends up with a bucket list

  1. Ana Silva O'Reilly (@mrsoaroundworld) November 13, 2012 at 7:09 am #

    This is sooooooooooooooo adorable! Love it how you are opening her horizons from such a young age. Good girl!

    • Francesca November 14, 2012 at 10:04 am #

      Thank you, Ana. It’s so important to me to do that for my daughter.

  2. Pola (@jettingaround) November 13, 2012 at 10:50 am #

    Aaawwww, love this!! And your interpretation of Lucia’s bucket list is spot on! haha

    • Francesca November 14, 2012 at 10:05 am #

      Tee hee… thank you. That kid of mine… she’s something else!

  3. Lazy Travelers (@lazytravelers) November 13, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

    this is too adorable. lucia sounds like a lazy traveler in training.

    • Francesca November 14, 2012 at 10:05 am #

      Yay!! I’d totally let her hang out with you girls.

  4. Leah Travels (@L_e_a_h) November 14, 2012 at 2:27 am #

    I love that you’ve passed on your passion for travel to her. I think that’s the best gift you can give someone. 🙂

    • Francesca November 14, 2012 at 10:06 am #

      Awww, thanks Leah. It’s amazing that she’s really taken to it. She talks about travel almost as much as I do!

  5. Jill November 14, 2012 at 9:38 am #

    Chicken rocket ship to the moon.

    • Francesca November 14, 2012 at 10:07 am #

      Blast off.

  6. Raul (@ilivetotravel) November 14, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

    That girl is adorable! This will be a neat thing for her to read 20 yrs from now!

    • Francesca November 28, 2012 at 11:51 am #

      Thank you, Raul. I had the same thought so I framed the bucket list and hung it up in her room. It’s a reminder to never give up on her dreams.

  7. Traveling Ted (@travelingted) November 15, 2012 at 6:06 am #

    How cute. I think I may steal a couple of these for my bucket list because it has been a long time since I have been on a slide.

    • Francesca November 28, 2012 at 11:52 am #

      lol Ted… I have no words! 🙂

  8. D.J. - The World of Deej November 15, 2012 at 6:20 pm #

    This made me smile…great stuff:)

    • Francesca November 28, 2012 at 11:52 am #

      Excellent, Deej. Happy to hear that!

  9. craig zabransky (@StayAdventurous) November 16, 2012 at 5:38 am #

    Fantastic… I love how simple and fun her list was… We can learn so much from 3 year olds. Thanks for sharing.

    • Francesca November 28, 2012 at 11:54 am #

      So true, Craig. Lucia definitely has reminded me how to keep life simple and just enjoy.

  10. The World Wanderer (@TheWrldWanderer) November 25, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

    This is one of my favorite stories. Bucket lists are the best – at any age!

    • Francesca November 28, 2012 at 11:54 am #

      Yay, so glad to hear that, Erin! Thank you!

  11. Stuart October 3, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

    What a beautiful little idea of a post. And what a great little bucket list.. with a few big ideas! I love how it shows how kids experience travel so differently to us ‘grown ups’ – the parks, playgrounds, ice-creams, flowers, animals. Oh and the thrill of a rocket ride. I don’t get the South Pole one though,,, is it Penguins or Santa?

    • Francesca October 9, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

      Thanks, Stuart! I’m not sure about the South Pole, either… it could be the penguins, but maybe she was thinking Antarctica??

  12. Jenna October 7, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

    So cute! And I’m glad I came by here today because I can see that you and I have a lot in common…I’m almost 40, I have constant mommy brain, and I love Florence (so to see a photo of Florence made me happy 🙂

    • Francesca October 9, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

      Thanks, Jenna. I’m glad you stopped by, too! We DO have a lot in common 🙂

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