Traveling together

Do we take our kids on big trips? Will they remember them? Is the hassle worth the outcome? In my heart I respond to all three: Yes!

Jackie remembers things she couldn’t possibly or shouldn’t under normal circumstances, from the age of one and a half or younger. It’s strange but I believe her.

When we started planning to travel to California, we thought of all possible combinations. Have only conrad travel over, or both of us pay a short visit, but I couldn’t possibly imagine visiting family and leaving Jackie home with my parents.

She is here. And she absorbs everything, and delights in everything. She gets tired and cranky and needy and whiny, like any toddler, but the majority of time, more than the average kid, she is happy, and willing and funny as snow.

It makes me sad to see loved ones struggle one way or another. And I realize, rather I remember those times when my mind was cloudy with worry, or exhaustion. Or I felt trapped in old ways, like skipping records, in relationships, jobs, housing/renting, routine, and we were yearning for change, yet we believed that I have reached the last level of success, yet we were dissatisfied.

I see Jackie so beautiful and smart and humble and ready to learn, to forgive, to be and do better. And sometimes I kick myself for being short with her, tired, dismissive, corrective. And I scramble to remember what did my parents do? They weren’t methodical and intentional, but they were faithful (true to themselves) and consistent.
We make mistakes daily. And if there was a contest of evaluating each other as parents, many would probably wag their finger at us. Who knows. I’m eternally grateful for double parenting. We often correct each other, and even fight about parenting. In the end when we turn in for the night, we are still in the race, with our mind and heart.

So as I see Jackie look for validation and affirmation in us, and she delights in our opinion about her, our love for her, our approval, I can’t help but imagine her horizon expand. And her healthily drawing self worth from other places. Intellect, adventure, serving. So I jotted down some thoughts, about my own adolescence, that I want to pass on, to instill in her:

“Nobody can tell you who you are.
In the difficult years of adolescence
Read the Bible
Go to church camps
Build healthy friendships
Read the psalms
Pour over the proverbs.

You were created perfectly by God
He has a purpose for you
And you are a diamond in the rough
Constantly being shaped shined.

Embrace the journey.
Don’t run away from pain.
Let it pass through you
And transcend it.

We are your mom and Dad
Anywhere you’ll go
But you have your own life
Your own identity
Your own journey.

We were yours for a while
You were ours for a time.

And what a delightful time it is.”