I remember the day a toothless little girl looked up at me and proclaimed, “Mommy, I am always going to live with you.”
A few years later she announced “When I get big I am going to live in Chicago.” She asked if I would move there with her. This should have been my first inkling of her vagabond gene.
Coming from a close knit family where no one moves more than five to 10 miles from their birthplace, I was skeptical of her late teen move to St. Louis. She was artsy and St. Louis fostered her creative side. She needed to be in the middle of it all.
I tried to understand her artwork beyond my pencil-drawn stick people. The family supported her gallery shows, although I am sure we were quite obviously slanting, eyebrows crossed, as we tried to understand the object or photo on display.
Her creative side emerged in high school and college showed us an amazing photographer.
I was both amazed and jealous of her gutsy travels to pursue her passion – backpacking to Barcelona, and photo shoots in London and New York.
In 2006, Molly announced she was moving to Hawaii to work for a fellow photographer. I didn’t think of the distance, my “motherly mind” immediately registered a full time job with benefits - a first for my daughter.
In 2009, I received a call that she was getting married. Meeting my future son-in-law at the airport in Hawaii put my mind at ease. He was a “male Molly” and had the same thirst for travel and life.
It is now 2010 and I am in Germany visiting the two vagabonds. We spent a weekend in Poland, followed by a weekend in Austria - with German explorations in-between. My travels have now expanded past the U.S. borders.
Our two amazing tour guides have shown us the most beautiful countryside. I look around in awe of the culture and history, the universal smile as you greet someone – so much to soak up.
My daughter has opened up a new world of travel for me and I'm happy to say this time I don't have to slant to understand it all, and I may even have my own vagabond gene emerging.