A “Girls Get-Away”…

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”.

5 Comments to A “Girls Get-Away”…

  1. I just had a week alone with my middle child while the youngest and oldest were off with grandparents.

    Normally, we have a bit of a routine that we follow, but as it was just the two of us (and I worry about the whole middle-child syndrome) I decided to make the week all about him and let him set the schedule.

    Like you, I think it’s good to have some one-on-one time with the kids. This past week we entered a period (fall sports) that’s going to make this hard to pull off for a while.

  2. The dynamics change dramatically when you have just one or two with you, don’t they?
    I hear you on the fall sports; a lot of our one-on-one time will be “in transit” for the next couple of months!

  3. piropos

    What a coincidence! I just did the same thing with my eldest daughter last Saturday. She is nine years old. I have two others, 7 and 4. It wasn’t as grand as what you did though. We just went to the nearest mall and spent the whole afternoon there just going around, looking at things. We went to the toy store where I told her, Let’s look at toys that we couldn’t buy!”.
    “A one-kid trip is time tailored to a particular child at a specific point in their personal growth”, is what I was aiming for. I actually asked my self if I was doing the right thing.Thanks for affirming this decision.

  4. Great pic! I love the new layout, too.

  5. Tom

    As a single father who had their kids every other weekend, I had one night, Wednesday nights, where I would alternate between my two kids and have a night alone just with them. My son would love to go to the mall and we would go to the video arcade. My daughter used to love to go to the book store and we would look at books together. They would always end with us walking the mall together, just talking and then sitting and listening all about school and their friends. Sometimes they were more grand “dates” such as seeing the theater play Rent with my daughter or with my son going to see the Timberwolves play the Bulls but the memories that I cherish the most now are those alone times just with each child individually. Thanks for bringing those memories back.

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