to all who love the joy surrounding a new baby,
allow me to introduce Henry. Henry is the first child of their proud parents — my daughter Kelsey and her husband Brian. Henry’s godfather is my son Guy, and his grandfather is yours truly. Henry is 6 months old, and what a joy!
you may ask what is it like traveling with Henry as Team Peterson explores the island of Sicily.
the first and most important point is that even though Henry cannot speak a word, there is no question who is in charge, who is setting the priorities and the daily schedule. it is Henry!
Henry has a daily schedule that we work around. he sleeps alot. and he wakes up and he is hungry. he gets fed. then he plays with us for a period of time. then he gets tired. then he sleeps and the process repeats itself. not counting his sleep at night, his daytime routine usually involves two hours of sleep, one hour of feeding, two hours of play, and then two hours of sleep. or something somewhat close to that. the point is that when Henry wants to be fed, for example, we stop and make sure Henry is being fed by his mother, Kelsey.
the second point that needs to be made is what a kick to have Henry with us. when he is awake and not eating, he is a dream. funny, laughing, into everything he can get his hands on and then put into his mouth, wide eyed, filled with tons of energy, very flexible, and you can see him just taking everything around him in.
allow me a little boasting. he is going to be a great athlete. he is very flexible. he can reach out with his hands and grab his foot and put his foot into his mouth. to give you a contast, i can barely get my hip and knees to let me put on my socks every morning. he has great thighs — the thighs of a future hockey player. he is in the 88th percentile in height and close to that in weight (19 pounds). he is not crawling quite yet, but he can turn himself over. he is strong. and he is a swimmer. today for the first time he went under water. today Henry took his first hike around a caldera on Mt. Etna in Sicily. he is unbelievably active and inquisitive.
back to traveling with Henry. one of the great things i love about traveling is meeting new people. i believe that it is much easier to do so when you are traveling because you are not as inhibited to ask a question of a total stranger. however, if you want or need a door opener or conversation starter to meet other people there is none better than Henry. when Henry gives others his smile, they cannot resist introducing themselves to us.
there are some logistics that come with having a 6 month old in your traveling party. Henry requires alot of gear. car seats, strollers, bags full of extra diapers, handiwipes, toys, food, extra clothes. when we reserve a room we have to make sure that they have a crib. where we go has to be stroller friendly. ADA compliance means something to this traveling family.
and there is some real work required with having Henry as a member of our travel party. Kelsey is doing amazing work every time Henry is beginning to get tired in getting him to sleep when he really wants to stay engaged with everyone. She also feeds him every three to four hours during the day. and as wonderful as Henry is, he is not perfect. he has his moments. Kelsey and Brian are fully engaged in each trial and tribulation. being a parent is alot of work.
in addition there are just the practical realities of having to carry the baby. or, if he is in the stroller, having to lift the stroller to get up a few stairs, get over a curb, get over an uneven street or sidewalk — all of which requires some strength. lifting the stroller with Henry and his gear in it is not for the faint of heart.
bottom line — what a treat. having a 6 month old with you when you are traveling forces you to realize what is really important in this world of ours. allows you to see the world from a child’s eye again. permits you to realize how important a role you have played and continue to play in the development of your children and your childrens’ children. it is pretty special.