Continuing the “In like a lion, out like a lamb” animal theme this month, I just had to slip in this photo from one of my most terrifying moments of family travel. Suffice to say I had no idea that our day trip to Dolphin Cove in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, would involve someone wrapping a sizeable snake around my 5-year-old daughter (she had consented with delight, but I wasn’t so sure).
When I look back now, I know this was the very moment I realized my offspring might grow to have interests beyond those within my own comfort zone, including the scaly and slime-coated. She was completely overjoyed that she had the opportunity to hold the snake by herself and already had questions about it. Since then, both of my daughters’ enthusiasm and passion for animals and wildlife have often shaped the scope of our travels, and we have all enjoyed the ride.
In fact, just a few months ago they convinced even me to hold a rescue python named “Valentine” in my own two hands, though I had to pass on the tarantula that each of my daughters held with fascination.
Parenthood is every bit as much about growth as childhood is. And so is traveling together as a family.