Postmodern Nomadism with Children
Wednesday, May 21, 2003
Balticon approaches like an oncoming freight train. We go to a lot of conventions, and once we're on the road, it's fine. It's the transitions that are rough. And every time we set out, I have to pack for three people: myself and the two kids.
When Peter was small, I felt like we were semi-nomadic. Other mothers would criticize me for all the travelling we did, saying what children really need is routine, but Peter finds travel very reassuring, and he's a great traveller.
Nomadism as a lifestyle really does work. Reindeer herders have done it for 15,000 years. When we were first travelling a lot with infant Peter, looking for tips on travelling with kids I tried to look into how nomadic cultures handled such things. But modern cultures have been much more interested in "civilizing" nomads than they have in documenting the lifestyle. Modern cultures' react to nomadism by taking all the children and putting them in boarding schools where they are forced to speak a different language than their parents. The reason for this is austensibly educational.
What I have found while travelling is that educational opportunities while travelling are much richer than those while staying home. Nonetheless, now that we have two small kids, one of whom now in the public school system, our opportuniteis for travel are more limited.
But as I said, it's the transitions that are rough: Getting out of the house and returning home can both be quite disorienting.
After several spectacularly beautiful days, it's raining this morning. Elizabeth got three vacinations yesterday, and so is running a low fever. (Or perhaps it's a teething fever; she is, after all, getting a tooth.) It's her first fever.
Yesterday was bewilderingly full of appointments, but there's nothing written on the calendar today; still I have to pack and settle what chaos I can, because we hope to set out for Balticon tomorrow afternoon.
RANDOM READING: Missingmatterboy asks whether science fiction has become obsolete, since he finds that he now gets his science-fictional thrills from actual science. Interesting, but I think this says more about the current state of the sciences than it does about sf. (This thread of discussion was current in hard sf about ten years ago.)
ANOTHER PRETTY PICTURE:
This is a picture Peter took in our back yard last summer, somewhat played with in Photoshop. The woman in blue is me.
TEETHING UPDATE: No wonder Elizabeth is so unhappy this morning. She's got a second tooth!