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Monday, August 27, 2012
Lailaa's travels

By Candace Parker

Lailla Williams
Candace Parker's daughter, Lailaa, has seen the world thanks to her mother's job as a basketball player.

Ever since my daughter Lailaa was born, she has been traveling with me everywhere I go. From Los Angeles to Russia, to Spain and London, Lailaa has become quite the world traveler. In fact, she was only 7 weeks old in her first trip with me to New York.

I never wanted to be that parent with the screaming child on the plane. Thankfully, Lailaa rarely ever did that. She has always been great on planes -- she loves to fly.

Candace Parker
Sparks star Candace Parker and her daughter pose on the beach.

Whenever I'm flying overseas, you can find Lailaa in first class, legs crossed, arms behind her head, watching a movie or playing a game on her iPad. She's always so excited to find out where we are going next. Whenever we fly overseas, she always asks: "Are we going under the sea?" What can I say? She's into Little Mermaid.

In the offseason we fly to Russia so I can play for UMMC Ekaterinburg. She absolutely loves Russia. She is always in the snow or at the park playing with the other kids. One time, I walked over to her at the park and a bunch of kids were circling around her. At first I was scared, I didn't know what they were doing. Then, Lailaa said "Da" ('Yes' in Russian) and the kids started touching her hair. They had never seen hair like hers. It was way too funny.

Another unforgettable moment in Russia was when we were in a hotel recently. Some hotels in Russia have gas masks as a regular accessory, like it's a hair dryer! Anyway, I went into the bathroom to change for bed, came out, and Lailaa was standing there with a gas mask on. I was crying I was laughing so hard.

Like I said, she has no problems on planes, in hotels or in foreign countries. If you ask her about the Olympics, she will tell you "WE won the gold medal, and I saw a big clock." Some mornings she wakes up, and asks if we can go to Spain. What 3-year-old asks their parents that?!

Maybe my favorite, but embarrassing, moment traveling with her, was when she was still nursing. It was night time on the plane and extremely quiet. She was nursing under her baby blanket. Out of nowhere, she stuck her head out of the blanket and let out the biggest burp! Then she made a "yum" sound and went back to nursing. Everyone heard it. It was so embarrassing!

I am absolutely lucky that she is so easy going and willing to travel anywhere. She makes the best of any situation she is in. She's my little world traveler.