The Sign Says it All
Last weekend Kori and I took a trip to visit Number 1 in her home state. With Kori's work schedule and Number 4's activity schedule we picked the only weekend that would work for a visit and we made the most of it. Kori came directly from her work site and I flew in from home. We both landed at different airports but we met up in Austin, Texas for the weekend. It ended up being a pretty quick trip but we all agreed it was time well spent.
Number 1 has been on her own for a couple years now making her own life. We talk all the time on the phone and via text but I hadn't seen where she was living and Kori had only been down there a handful of times so we were due to pay her a visit. Now that the kids are growing up and moving out, Kori and I have made it a priority to go back to what we used to do and give our kids one on one attention. I guess in this case it was two on one attention.
When our kids were younger we used to date them. I know that sounds weird but what I mean is that we would have dates with each of the kids on our own. We would plan the date with the respective child we would take out that month. The kids loved it. There were certain things the girls liked to do when they were with Mom and totally different things when they went with Dad. The kids would always look on the calendar to see who they got to spend time with that month. It was as good for Kori and I as it was for the kids. We got to know them on a different level and they got to know us better too. We had lots of activities planned but that also led to a lot of conversations as well. We were able to get the kids to open up about things that we wouldn't hear about at the dinner table. It gave us a chance to share our feeling and our thoughts as well.
This last weekend was more of the same, but with even better conversation as Number 1 is a full adult and likes to do adult things with us. We started our day out with a trip to a coffee shop that had a famous mural painted on the outside of the building. We ordered, sat down, drank our drinks, ate our food and tried to figure out where the mural was. We soon discovered the coffee shop had multiple locations and we were at the wrong one. That made for a good laugh for all of us.
The day was full of laughter, teasing, hugs, lots of photos and above all else great conversation. We affirmed her as a daughter and as as woman. We expressed to her how proud of her we were. We made sure she knew that we would always be there for her no matter how old she gets. And she told us what we meant to her. To hear your adult child affirm you as parents and the job we did raising her was better than any present she could ever give us!
We eventually found the sign and the words on the wall say it all, "I love you so much." She didn't fight us for pictures and we took a lot of them. At times, I have questioned if I did enough for my kids and if I loved them the way they needed to be loved. I guess this weekend I got the answer. I didn't screw it all up after all...atleast with Number 1.