"I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father's protection." - Sigmund Freud
RISKING ALL TO LIVE THE DREAM
One of the joys of being an older parent, is maturity and being aware of the speed of life, thus one of our main purposes of world travel is to have time together. We waited almost a decade to have a child after marrying late and we didn't want to miss a second.
We both always wanted a daughter and we wanted to raise her in a loving, peaceful home with two supportive, involved, connected parents who cherished the value of family. We think one can actually add to world peace for generations by raising a deeply loved and supported child, so take this sacred family bond seriously.
"A father who has a good relationship with the mother of their children
is more likely to be involved and to spend time with their children and
to have children who are psychologically and emotionally healthier.
Similarly, a mother who feels affirmed by her children's father and who
enjoys the benefits of a happy relationship is more likely to be a
better mother." Wilcox Bradford
MEN'S MOST COMMON DEATH BED REGRETS
What could be more important? On their death beds, nobody wishes they spent more time working, but almost all dying men regret working too much and not spending time with their children and loved ones.
"Involved fathers bring positive benefits to their children that no other person is as likely to bring" Dr. David Popenoe
FAMILY TIME MOTIVATES A WORLD TRAVEL LIFESTYLE
When our daughter was born, DaVinci took two months off of unpaid leave from his high-end executive job in Silicon Valley so we'd have time to babymoon together. That was unheard of for a woman, so shocking for a male to his boss and peers. But that was perhaps the seed that gave us the impetus to take on our world travel lifestyle because it felt so right and wonderful to have that much time to enjoy the gift of parenting and deep family bonding without worrying about work duties. It was idyllic so we wanted more.
WORK - LIFE BALANCE FOR FATHERS
After months of sacred closeness together, we felt a huge difference when he went back to work, often leaving before she woke up and returning when she was asleep, so only seeing her on the weekends. Sometimes we went to work with him so we could do things together like Gymboree or swimming before work or visiting the zoo or museum at lunch time.
Truly, it was the best decision of our lives and one of the reasons is the quality of time we have together. We didn't want him to be a dad who missed this quantity of time. He is a stay-at-home-Dad and I am a stay-at-home-Mom...only we do it in many homes around the world. She was a long term breast fed kid, so she is a bit of a Mama's girl, but her relationship and attachment with her Dad is outstanding too. She has had more time with her Dad and Mom than almost any kid on this planet. Perhaps we are giving her the dream childhood we always wanted and it heals each of us.
AN IDEAL FATHER-DAUGHTER RELATIONSHIP
She thinks that is normal, because it IS her normal. But we parents are especially grateful for this bond of endless summer time together. It is the greatest gift of this RTW journey. I would have been a stay-at- home Mom had we stayed, but by going, we allowed HIM to have that blessing as well. Thier father daughter relationship would have still been fabulous, but time at work would have eaten away at their time together and so much would have been missed.
We enjoy watching our home movies often on our travels and I took a LOT during babyhood and preschool years, so that I could share her days with him when he was working, but it is just not the same as having the time and freedom together.
Recently DaVinci turned 60 and Mozart is 12 now and these recent photos were taken during our little family, "simple pleasures"birthday celebration in our latest Penang apartment home. These kinds of age milestones, make us even more grateful for our choice of a life of quality AND quantity time together. The days and years have zipped by and are slippping through our fingers as we age and she gets older.
THE POWER OF THE FATHER DAUGHTER BOND
Many people might not want a 24/7/365 kind of family togetherness, but it suits all of us to a T. Mozart and DaVinci could never have had this kind of father -daughter time, had we not decided to travel and retire early. For us, giving up over consumerism for time, freedom, relationships, education and adventure has worked well. We didn't know that for sure when we sold our home in 2005, but we know it now, so we are overjoyed that we took that risk.
Those are all so incredibly enriching, too much for words to convey.
Pehaps though, equally important, are the every day things like going to markets together, shopping grocery stores around the world, doing advanced math together daily and discussing money and currencies, piano and violin practice monitored by Dad, playing chess, cards and monopoly etc together, watching movies and educational shows together, doing art together, teaching tech skills, reading shakespeare aloud together, cooking and cleaning together, dancing, joking, meditating, silliness, talking about life and values and on and on.
Dad, who was a world class swimmer and many-medals-and-trophy-winning ball player teaches her those skills. Dad, who doesn't have perfect Spanish, helped her become multilingual from birth, by stretching out of his comfort zone to give her this heritage language that had been lost from his own parents.
He started reading to her in Spanish from the womb, took her to Music Together classes, Spanish reading at the library, went to a Spanish church an hour away just so she could immerse in their Sunday schoool and so much more these last 12 years. When I've dealt with health issues and traveling when sick, he has taken on more.
"My dear father; my dear friend; the best and wisest man I ever
knew, who taught me many lessons and showed me many things as we went
together along the country by-ways." - Sarah Orne Jewett
We love family celebrations...especially Mozart, who plots and plans weeks ahead with total delight. And we love making our own gifts and a special meal. We adore the trophy for #1 dad that she made out of cardboard in secret in her room for him and have it displayed now in a place of honor in our home. Note she topped it with a favorite photo of her kissing him on his birthday in the middle of the Adriatic Sea with Venice in the background as we were taking a ship from Venice to Greece and blessed with a rainbow.
They went to the store to get the goodies and I made some grain free, sugar free food that was delicious while staying on our cavity prevention and curing diet. Yummy paleo veggie pizza, salad and homemade banana bread and DIY chocolate ice cream made with coconut milk.Recipes coming soon!
How are you celebrating this Father's Day and what are you thankful for?