My daughter and I try to plan a trip together once a year. There are places she and I want to go that our husbands don’t want to. Rather than miss out totally, we travel there together. We’ve experienced the magic of Disneyworld and Hogwarts at Universal which have been some of our best trips. One year, I kicked Hubby out and she came to my house. We spent several days shopping and having a great time. We returned to Cancun to enjoy the surf, sand, and sun so we could read books without interruptions and enjoy each other’s presence for a while. The important thing is not where we go, but having time together, just the two of us.
I value time with my daughter, but I didn’t know it would always be that way. When she was 11 or 12 years old, I told her the day would soon come when she would not like me very much. I said that based on what other parents told me about the awful teenage years when their children turned into difficult strangers. I dreaded that time and tried to brace myself for it. As it turned out, I didn’t need to worry about it.
I was raised with the notion that dancing is evil, but my feet didn’t get the message. There was always a yearning to move with music that I passed on to my daughter. When she was a young teenager, we watched a local clogging group perform at a festival. At the end of the performance, the leader said she was starting lessons for anyone who wanted to learn. My daughter jumped at the chance and signed us both up. She didn’t want to go alone, I didn’t want her to go alone, and it sounded pretty cool to me.
We picked it up very easily, like it was already in our genes waiting to pop out. After our weekly lessons, we’d both practice every day; me in the mornings and her after school. It was the best exercise program I’ve ever been on because it was so joyful. Eventually, we started performing with the group at fairs, festivals, and in nursing homes. We both loved it. Our relationship grew stronger in her teenage years, making them some of the most pleasant years of our lives. Clogging gave us a common thread to build upon and bring us together. We rehearsed together and talked a lot while we were driving to and from shows. It became the tie that bound us closer and kept us communicating.
I’ve always said the families who have fun together are closer and more solid than those who never do anything as a family unit. Hubby took the time to take us on adventures great and small, away from the TV, the phone, and other things that got in the way of communication. As a result, our children’s teenage years were the best. Those relationships developed into friendships which are very precious. I hope to do the same with my grandsons.
Family. It’s worth the time and effort to make it a good one.