Expressing excitement on family trips

Both girls got pretty excited about this Play-Doh booth.

Both girls got pretty excited about this Play-Doh booth.

We humans express excitement in different ways. Some of us get smiley. Others get giddy. My wife likes to eeek. I, a verbal person, like to scream, “POWER” repeatedly. Then there’s the Big Girl, who conveys *her* excitement by jumping over and over again and stuttering uncontrollably.

I noticed this tendency of my daughter’s on a recent daytrip to San Francisco. She already was excited to be there—my kids have grown up in the country and they love any opportunity to see tall buildings and public transit and trappings of an urban center. Then we came upon a brand new playground off the Embarcadero. The kid nearly flipped her lid.

She was so cranked up, so stoked at the notion of sliding down a new slide and swinging from new monkey bars that she bounced around like a kangaroo.

When we asked her what was up, she couldn’t respond without fumbling over her own words.

As she played, it dawned on me that I’d seen these behaviors before, almost religiously, on every single family trip we’ve ever taken. That’s when it dawned on me that the get-up wasn’t a temporary bout of insanity, but instead just my kid’s way of expressing and dealing with travel excitement.

The incident got me thinking—where do we learn behaviors for expressing travel excitement? It’s not like Powerwoman or I jump up and down and stutter when we’re on family trips. Why doesn’t my older child eeek like her mother? Why doesn’t she scream, “POWER?” From whom did she get the whole hopping thing?

This, of course, got me thinking some more. How fun it would be to swap excitement expressions a trip! How odd it would be to see a grown man jumping around and stuttering at the sight of the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles. How silly it would be if my kid actually did scream, “POWER.” Or eeek.

We’re headed out in the next few weeks on a number of different journeys and I plan to mention the subject to the kids then. If you see me jumping around and stuttering at an airport, you’ll know why.

How do your kids express their excitement on your family trips?

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