I’m smiling…Because I’ve managed to crack open a window at the end of the month for my daughter and I to slip through. Just the two of us and and an ocean. With time to drift in and out of ideas and conversations; with time to slip away in kayaks or run down the beach…I’m a big believer in gifting my kids with unique, “separate from sibling”, travel experiences.
When married, I would plan a one-kid adventure around most of my then-husband’s business trips. As a ten-year old, my oldest boy climbed rocks in Joshua Tree National Park in California. On another trip, he and I rode bikes from Fisherman’s Wharf, crossing the Golden Gate Bridge and riding north to Sausalito, before racing to catch the last ferry “home”! My daughter (pictured above and below at age 6) fell in love with the energy of Chicago during our multiple explorations there by foot, bike, boat and trolley. My youngest son’s most recent “alone” trip was a spontaneous weekend visit to the Newport (Ky) Aquarium and Cincinnati museums.
As a single mom of older (very active) children now, the opportunities are less frequent, but the investment remains just as valuable. When we can’t manage out-of-town time, we at least arrange out-of-the house days and play “in-town tourists” (which I’ve written about in previous blogs). My youngest son has “called” just such a day for himself next week, which also makes me smile…
Years ago, I worried about “excluding” my other children. I wanted all of them to see everything (still do!), and we’ve shared some amazing experiences in the US, Mexico, and Canada. -But you don’t give everyone on your gift list a football for their birthday; the best gifts are obviously fitted to the recipient. And I guess that’s how I view these single child get-aways… While a “family” vacation is generally a blending of diverse interests, a one-kid trip is time tailored to a particular child at a specific point in their personal growth.
These shared moments become virtual memorials implanted within their lives’ timelines, marks from which life will surely change, but where it can also stand still for us, encapsulated in the memories we’ve created for “keeps”.