It’s one of our goals as parents to inspire our children to do great things, is it not? Perhaps we dream that they will one day follow in our footsteps down a path we’ve created for ourselves. Is it not the utmost compliment when people, especially our children, tell us that they would like to be just like us?
So imagine how my heart melted when, one day, my five-year-old daughter, Lucia, said to me, “Mommy, I want to be a travel blogger like you.” (UPDATE: She was four at the time; she’s six now.)
“You mean when you grow up? You want to be a travel blogger?” I asked.
“No,” she replied. “Now. I want to be a travel blogger now.”
How could I say no to that? She came up with this idea all on her own and was serious about it. I was somewhat blindsided by her proclamation so I just said, “We’ll talk about it with Daddy when we get home, ok?”
We got home and Daddy was not down with the idea of our daughter having her own travel blog. He expressed concerns about internet predators and there being too much information about Lucia available online. Valid concerns, of course. But then I pointed out to him that, as a family travel blogger, I often write about our family’s adventures on my own blog and include photos of Lucia and even her younger brother. So some of her information and her likeness are already out there. I also stressed that I would be in total control of content and photos; I know what’s safe to publish and what isn’t. It took a few weeks of convincing but Daddy finally caved.
My daughter’s blog has been live for a few months now. She and I are having a ball with it. I imagine there are other parents (maybe even non-parents) out there that have the same concerns as my husband, or just think that a blog for a five-year-old is ridiculous. I can appreciate those points of view, but I see the blog as providing unique opportunities for Lucia and me. Hear me out:
- It encourages Lucia to expand her curiosity about the world. She already has a pretty extensive travel bucket list for a five-year-old. As she learns about new places, she tends to say, “I want to go there!” Now, she follows up that statement with, “And then I can blog about it!” As we’re traveling, she pays more attention to what we’re doing and what we’re experiencing so she can remember everything and later write about it. To her, we’re not just visiting another church or seeing another monument. She is curious about the details and wants to take it all in. One reason my husband and I decided to travel with our kids, long before we even had any, is that we firmly believe first-hand experiences are the best way to learn. Travel provides such experiences and therefore we view it as a form of education. To me, Lucia’s desire to travel translates into a desire to learn and far be it from me to discourage that tendency.
- It fosters her creativity. At five, Lucia is just beginning to uncover her talents. When we sit down to write a blog post, she begins by relaying her thoughts, most of which are of the factual variety, such as “We are going to Germany,” or “I ate a lot of gelato in Italy.” I type the words and sentences exactly the way she says them but then try to get her to think more creatively. I’ll ask her questions based on the five senses, prompting her to describe colors, smells, and sounds. Since starting her blog, Lucia also has become more interested in photography. She routinely asks to take pictures of the places we’re visiting so she can include them with her blog posts. Not satisfied with run-of-the-mill photo compositions, she aims for unique angles and perspectives. If writing turns out not to be her thing, maybe photography will.
- It allows us to spend meaningful time together. As I said, she does the talking and I do the typing. Between all the written and spoken words, though, Lucia and I are reliving our experiences together, recalling fond memories that we made as a family. Moreover, now that she has a little brother, she and I don’t have as many opportunities for one-on-one time. She gets a little boisterous when I don’t pay enough attention to her so I take that as a cue to sit down and write a blog post. It’s become our “thing” and ours only.
Our family has just returned from Europe and Lucia and I will be blogging about our experiences. If you’d like to learn about our trip from Lucia’s point of view, check out her blog – Bonjour, Amigo!
A version of this article originally was published on Mommy Nearest.