Family Vacation Redefined
Vacationing as a single mom with a solo child is like night and day from the old days with six of us in tow. I am now my daughter’s only companion when we hit the highway. We share a mix cd (yes, my car is that old and thankfully her taste in music has evolved), we share a bed, and we share in all activities and adventures. I’m sure this can often a bit of a bummer for her, and having a friend along would be a bit more fun. As for me, it would be nice to have a grown up around to hang with once she’s off to sleep, but there are always moments that remind me how lucky I am to truly be there as her companion as she continues to grow and expands her horizons.
Today, for instance, she chose horseback riding as our main activity for the day. Having taken riding lessons in the past, she was dressed appropriately (of course) and showed no fear as we approached the stables. She quickly hopped into the saddle with no reservations. I, on the other hand, was less sure about the idea of spending an hour on horseback trekking through the woods with dark clouds looming in the distance.
It also turned out that the other foursome that were scheduled for the ride had canceled, so we ended up with a private tour. With our guide up front, Samantha in the middle, and my horse pulling up the rear (ironically, his name was Sam and he had a mind of his own – slow and stubborn) we were on our way. The first twenty minutes felt like two hours to me, but then I got the hang of things and truly looked up at my daughter in front of me only to find her with perfect posture, totally cool, calm and collected. In that moment, I realized how lucky I am to be her companion on trips like this. To watch her thrive at things she’s confident with (especially when they scare me), and to push her to try new things (although I didn’t have any luck with the alpine slide). As she enters into double digits this fall, I know the days when it’s no longer cool to hang with mom are quickly approaching, so while I do miss the days of true “family vacations”, I also know how lucky I am to spend uninterrupted time with her while I still can. Happy Trails!