It took me five years to become a mom. I endured rounds of fertility treatments, weird opinions from nice people in my life at the time (have you tried a coffee enema?) a bout of depression and a lot of prayer during those years. When I got pregnant after we decided adoption was our best option, it felt like a miracle.
I’ve always said my firstborn daughter, strong-willed and determined was the child I desperately wanted. When her little brother surprised us with a two lines on a pink stick a year and a half later, he arrived calm and laid back. I said he was the child I desperately needed. I wouldn’t trade any part of my journey to motherhood because each chapter gives me perspective for the next.
Last month, I was talking with my sister while she colored my hair in my bathroom (home haircare used to be scary, but now it’s normal. Life is funny like that), we were chatting about our sons and we had this idea to take them on a weekend trip. Just moms and sons, nephews and cousins. Sisters.
We both realized it would be a first for all of us and our sons were as excited as we were.
Here are four things I learned:
- We should have done this a long time ago –I’ve taken several trips with my daughters for various reasons –shopping trips, girl trips with cousins, Passport to Purity weekends and my husband has done the same with our son. But this was the first time my 15 year old son and I took a trip together just to be together. It was so fun! I savored every minute: the coffee splurge at the airport, the back row that our $79 plane tickets offered us, the whirlwind visit to Disneyland, the uninterrupted time with one of my favorite people on the planet. The only regret I had that weekend is that we didn’t do it sooner and the sadness of knowing we only have 3 more years to squeeze them in while he’s at home.
- Boys need time to talk–My son is the quiet one in the house, not in a shy, timid way, but he is thoughtful and a processer. I’m like a lot of women and I feel the need to fill empty spaces with words. Lots of words. My son has never been one to talk about what he wants to do or be in the future. But in a quiet moment of reflection, he opened up on our trip about his interests and dreams. They included missions and unreached people and his momma’s tears. I realized he opens up a lot more–if I just let him. With his ambition and integrity, I know he will change the world in his own unique way.
- I’m raising a gentleman— From the minute we started our trip, I watched my son hold the door open for people, offer to give up his seat, carry my luggage, wait for me (I’m a slow walker and he’s 6ft tall) and it dawned on me that I’m raising a gentleman. I’m pretty sure I have his dad to thank for that, but even my sister commented on his general politeness and concern for me. Somehow in the busyness of life, I had missed this quality and I now cherish it.
- My son needs his mom— We didn’t have a real reason or excuse to get away and I think that spoke volumes to my son. I invited him because I simply wanted to spend time with him. It was a good reminder that big kids need their mom too. The time away together was a quick. We laughed, walked over 12 miles, ate poorly, screamed on rollercoasters and made some memories. It went by too fast, but it convinced me that one-on-one time is a must with each of my kids. I highly recommend it!