Today my 23 year old daughter comes home for a week. She has spent the last 8 months living in Bogota with her Dad’s relatives. I am so excited to see her, even though it will be rather brief, she, of course, has friends to see and camp to visit.
In March, we met in Guatemala for a week. When we booked the trip, there were no plans for her to come home until December. Not seeing her for over a year was not something I wanted to experience, thus the vacation together. And I don’t regret it for a second! Selfishly, I got to spend pretty much every second with her. I got to watch her converse with a local little boy as he led us through the streets of San Marcos on Lake Atitlan. I witnessed a young adult conversation between her and one of the hotel workers. She was confidant in both situations although inside I know she was doubting herself. She made friends with a young American girl who joined us in our local cooking class. They were meant to meet each other. I recall the first day meeting at the airport and driving well over 3 hours to the lake, following chicken buses along the road, she talked non stop. Telling us stories of her experiences in her new country. So much to share with Mark and I. Very different from the ride back to the airport, 6 days later, when she had no more left to say.
Spending time with my grown children is something I love! Although my son lives just a few towns over, I haven’t had that personable time with him in quite a while. Seems when you live close by, you don’t make the time to just experience life together. Instead you get caught up with day to day chores of parenting: helping with things, providing guidance and being a sounding board. Traveling with adult children is more about experiencing life- together. Taking time to notice who they are. Who they are becoming.
For the last few years I have told my kids this is our last vacation together. First it was Colorado. Then a surprise trip to Florida. Than last year my 50th birthday celebration in Michigan. Each one was the last. I can lie when I need to…. I don’t ever want to stop traveling with my kids! My best memories are visiting new places with them. Seeing the world with them.
So although I am so excited to have my daughter come home, I am even more excited to take a trip with my son later this summer. And maybe next year, another trip with one or both my kids. And another and another. Them coming home will never replace the feelings of wonderment and pure joy I get when experiencing new places with them.