Recently I had plans to take my girls on another International trip back to The Netherlands. It was a last-minute plan that I had pulled together over the course of about four weeks. There was no specific plan for being there, we just wing it like we always do…go with the flow. We are pro’s at doing that but this time around, something was going to hold us back. The hardest part of that was not knowing until the night before we were suppose to leave.
At this moment, I had lost all ‘great mama brownie points’, looked at the most disappointed faces and then it come (as I knew it would) ‘Mom…I am disappointed and we were looking forward to this trip!! How could you cancel?’. Ugh. I felt like nothing good I had done after all these years could triumph at this point. As the cool mom, I was toast!
I did not sleep all night that evening. The girls went to bed with broken hearts, I sat in the living room and quietly sobbed while I tried to figure out how can I do something, anything, to make this okay? The guilt was setting in. I scoured the internet looking for random, cool, last-minute trips that we could take state side. It was all ridiculously overbooked, oversold, overpriced and I was almost over it as well…key word here is ‘over’. Around 4am, I decided that we would take a road trip to Charleston, South Carolina. It was quick, easy to drive and I had hotel reward points for a free night. No big deal, the kids will like it…or so I hoped they would.
As morning come around, I made them get up and get ready. With my own enthusiasm, I told them we were going to Charleston. They grumbled and I am pretty sure that was more of the thought that I made them wake up too early than it was the thought of going somewhere. Tired, sleepy eyes and all, they complied and got ready. Within a couple of hours we were talking, smiling, making jokes and headed south!
It wasn’t a trip of materialistic things. It was a trip filled with love, laughter, bonding, sharing and just being family. Isn’t that what being together is all about? We were in no hurry to get to where we were going. If we wanted to stop, we stopped. If we wanted to eat, we got snacks. If we wanted to keep on going, we did. Everyone was content. My mama heart was content as well, other than missing my son. He could not be with us due to his own obligations that required his attention. No doubt though, we called him and shared things with him and wished he had of been with us. He is an awesome one to have around when exploring history! We missed him dearly and it wasn’t as complete without him there but we also understood that too.
Once we arrived at the hotel, we did some driving around downtown, grabbed a bite to eat and then we headed back to the hotel for some much-needed sleep. Still, at this late in the day, there were no complaints and no mention of ‘I wish we were in _______ right now’. Not one word was even mentioned of it. I kept waiting for it but it never come up. I quickly realized with this observation that even when life throws us a curve ball, my girls handle it with grace. I am so proud of them for being able to go with the flow, overcoming what was a disappointed heart in the beginning and they turned that into a positive! I don’t know too many teenagers who can do that with a happy heart and really mean it. It has made me very proud of them.
As parents, we spend a lot of time wanting to make our families happy, proud of who we are and making sure we help them have the best experiences life can give. Yes, it is wonderful if one can do that but isn’t it equally important that we teach our kids how to overcome a disappointment with understanding? Things do not always go as planned. Events get changed or cancelled. That is life. It happens but how we react to it will determine what we get out of it.
Our time in Charleston was brief but it was exactly what we hoped it to be….a family day that we embraced with the rain, the wet heads, soggy shoes, random funny jokes, singing to the top of our lungs and anything else we wanted to do. We didn’t care what we did, we just cared that we were together. We learned about the history of the Civil War and explored Fort Moultrie on Sullivan’s Island.
My guilt that I had in the beginning, turned out to be nothing short of God’s way to show me how much I really love my children and the sacrifices I will make for them. While I love my children with more passion and heart than any mother could love, it is very important that I show them that sometimes life is bigger than who we are. We must adjust to the changes of life, even when life is quickly changing our plans without our consent. It teaches diversity in your thoughts and an ability to embrace your own character.
If you are reading this blog post, I do hope you have enjoyed it and if you have children, my wish is that it gives you some insight on helping them overcome this world that can sometimes disappoint us. At the end of the day, it is the family that has worked together to overcome these hurdles, who can be the most successful in life, love and happiness.
Peace, Love & Hugs