diaper bag

Traveling Light

When Sophie was the boys’ age (16-1/2 months) I still carried around a large diaper bag filled with diapers, wipes, a changing pad, two sippy cups (one for milk, one for water), various snacks, her sunglasses, ponytail holders and barrettes (although she refused to wear them), sunscreen, a mini first-aid kit including various medicines, toys, at least two extra outfits, a jacket, a small blanket, extra socks and who knows what else. It was huge. And heavy. And at 16-1/2 months, unreasonable.

Now I have three children. Several nights ago I had an early evening freelance interview to take care of and therefore was unable to cook dinner. This was fantastic for the kids, as it meant Skyline Chili for supper. As we were walking out the door, I looked down and laughed. And asked Andy to take a picture of this:


All I took was a diaper clutch containing two diapers for the boys, an extra pair of panties for Sophie, wipes and a changing pad. I strapped two bibs to it. And then grabbed my clutch (aka purse).

I think this is the perfect example of a second-time parent vs. a first. Of me relaxing, lessening, loosening a bit. And taking chances. And not caring. And yet still caring, in a more reasonable way. Of lightening the load, traveling lighter, feeling freer. Of my kids growing up and me letting them. Of knowing that successful parenting isn’t just about being prepared with things, but, more often than not, solutions, games, distraction techniques. Of knowing that Skyline’s oyster crackers are a good substitute for Cheerios, sunscreen is not needed in a restaurant in the fall, and I probably won’t need six different shapes of Band-aids for two-hour trip. And finally, of knowing that no matter what I pack, I won’t have the one thing I need. So really, why does it matter?

“He who would travel happily must travel light.” —Antoine de St. Exupery