Travel, Talk and Time

As a stay at home dad, my job rarely requires much travel. When the kids were younger, many of our family trips revolved around the kids travel sports schedule. There was usually at least one out of town soccer tournament, baseball tournament or dance competition and that was about it. Other than that, I would get away by myself for a boys weekend once a year and that was about it. This year, in the month of March, I have been gone two out of the first three weekends and will be out of town again this weekend. I am beginning to feel like Kori feels when she travels so much for work. It isn’t that much fun to get up a 4:00am to make it to the airport and it is hard keeping it together the rest of the day.

With Number 1 through 3 now out of the house, my recent travels have included Number 4 and I as we travel for dance competitions. We have traveled to Las Vegas, St. Louis, Des Moines, and Kansas City. We have had lots of fun and gone some cool places together. He is still a kid and likes to do kid things, which he should. Normally our free time entails going to eat and maybe hitting the hotel pool before going to bed. I have enjoyed traveling with him and spending lots of quality time together. It has been very beneficial for our relationship.

This last week, I traveled for the first time with my adult daughter, Number 1, for her 23rd

birthday. It has been a long time since it was just her and I and she reminded me of that at our first dinner together. I did not know what to expect and was so happy that we were able to take this trip together. Her mom had been doing most of the “heavy lifting” in terms of relationship work since she left for college and I usually got those excited call about a test going well or getting a promotion at work. This was going to be the time for me to connect with her as adults as well as dad and daughter.

I have to say that both fronts ended up being a big success. We worked really well together from driver and navigator to drinking buddies to dad and daughter. Conversation came easily for both of us and neither of us(I hope) ever got frustrated or angry with the other. We ate when we were hungry. We stopped when we were tired and we talked about everything. I had several topics I wanted to discuss with her that had been on my mind and each was met with honest answers and heartfelt responses. I truly realized how much we have in common and how easy it is to get along with her.

She and I are planning to do this again in the future as she said she had the best time on our trip. I am going to say that at least some of that was based on my presence. Not only do I plan to do this with her but I plan to do it with my other kids too. One of my most important jobs in life is to be the best dad I can be to my four kids and I take that responsibility seriously.

I have said this before but it deserves repeating. When I die, my tombstone would never say, “He was a hard working employee.” It would say “loving husband and supportive dad.” It is my job to do all I can to help my kids become the best version of themselves. I can do that by loving them and spending time with them so they know that. Whether you have adult children or all of yours are still at home, make sure your kids know you love them. Spend alone time with each of your kids and take them on a trip, even it’s just to get ice cream. You never know, they might just say they had the best time ever.

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