“How to Travel with Parents” by My Father, Age 11

“How to Travel with Parents” by My Father, Age 11

This year, my parents have been decluttering their home, which has included going through the many boxes they received from my grandmother’s home after she passed away. In those boxes, my parents discovered historic
treasures–a silver engraving of the invitation from my grandmother’s wedding, my great-grandmother’s travel diary from her 1934 trip to Palestine and the Soviet Union, including a very depressing trip to Nasovka, the Ukrainian village where my great-grandfather was born (yes, you will definitely be hearing more about THAT…) AND, around a dozen Freedman Family Announcers, annual newsletters sent out to relatives and family friends to share what the 3 Freedman sons, in their own words, had been up to that year.

So, when I was visiting my parents earlier this month, I read through those Family Announcers, and discovered something that truly surprised me–my father is a wonderful writer! To clarify, I’ve known just about forever that my father writes. In fact he wrote two books, Digital Radiology and The Radiology of the Post-Operative Hip. Which, as you can imagine, were popular among radiologists, but less so among their children, including me.

Here’s a taste of my father’s writing, which appeared in the Freedman Family Announcer, dated January 1, 1953.

HOW TO TRAVEL WITH PARENTS by Matthew Freedman

In case you are planning to take your parents on a trip, this is some advice on how to take care of them.

First of all, when you are packing, make sure that your parents leave some room in their suitcases for your clothing so that you will not have too much to carry. Because laundry detergent is light, you can agree to carry the laundry detergent, on the condition your mother promises to do your laundry.

At the hotel, it is wise to provide a separate room for your parents far from yours, so that they won’t know what time you go to bed. On the first day at the hotel, wander around and get lost. Your parents will search for you, and get so tired that they will go to bed early, leaving you free to have a good time.

When in foreign countries, if your parents insist that you try the famous dishes of that country, don’t let them get away with it; the hamburgers and coca colas in Paris are excellent.

If you get tired of museums, try fainting: amusement parks and zoos are much more fun, anyway.

In conclusion, my advice is that if you can’t go on vacation any other way, take your parents along. You can even let them think they’re taking you.

My father and his brother, Eric, while taking their parents on a trip to Venice in 1952.

7 comments

  1. Your dad has a great sense of humor! It must have been special to find all those letters,diary, to learn about your family’s past.

  2. What a great treasure for you to find! My parents both left Poland separately for Israel in the 1930’s, and everyone else on both sides was murdered in the holocaust. What a great gift your children have, to have family mementos and photos of their family,, but more importantly, to get to know them as individuals……

  3. My father-in-law is a radiologist, and I bet he read your father’s books! I think I enjoyed this insightful article more though 😉

    • JewishMom

      now I’m thinking my father’s radiology books might also be fun reading….maybe:)

  4. Fabulous. Love it!

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