…the life of my 12-year old that is. That is what I am in the midst of right now. When each of my kids turn 12 they are promised a two or three day trip with dad anywhere they want to go. I have to save up for it. I was able to come up with enough banked up sky-miles (plus a couple thousand gift-miles from my dad to make the difference) to fly us both.
When they are younger, they think it’s just a fun trip with dad. It is that for sure, but it is much more. At our house, it is a rite of passage into adolescence and the beginning of their journey to adulthood. The kids look forward to this trip from an early age. I am now experiencing my third one with my 12 year old son. It is definitely different with a boy than it was with my two older daughters.
Exactly where are we? Well as you can see, we are at one of the “guy shrines” in the USA (and for some girl-shrines too) :)
That’s right, we are in Cooperstown, NY at the National Baseball Hall Of Fame. This was my son’s choice for his trip. We flew up, and drove quite a ways, Monday evening. Then we spent the day today (Tues) at the Hall Of Fame. It has been a blast!
However, this is only the fun part of the trip. The real purpose of the trip is to spend some intimate time with my preteen talking about what is coming in their life. We spend the mornings and evenings going through God’s Word and listening to some teaching and doing some fun activities all designed to help prepare him for the challenges of adolescence and what to expect in the coming years. With my daughters, I kind of put my own thing together as far as what we studied. With my son this time, I ordered a book and CD set from Family Life that has proved very helpful, fun, and easy to use. It is called Passport2Purity. If you have a preteen or very early teen, I HIGHLY recommend you do this. Check out the material HERE
These weekend or midweek trips have been huge in our kids lives so far. I can’t tell you what it has done for me and for our relationships. Yes, this is where we talk about the “bird and bees”. Yes it can be awkward. But it is so huge when you have your son say, as he said to me tonight when I asked him who he’d rather talk about these things with, “Well…you.”
I always open this weekend up with asking them a scary question for me. I tell them I want them to be totally honest. I say, “Do you want, one day, to have what you see me and your mom have in a marriage?” Then I ask, “Do you trust that we know and want what’s best for you?” Pretty scary if you aren’t sure how they’ll answer…and I’m never 100% sure either. But when they say “yes” to both of those, then we have a great place to begin.
This is a fun, growing experience for both of us. I highly recommend it for anyone with kids on the verge of their teen years. You don’t have to go on a big trip. It can be a simple get away. Just plan it and do it. You’ll never regret it! The Passport2Purity material gives you everything you need to know to plan it. I’ll use it from now on. Moms you can do this with daughters too. (As a matter of fact, I think we may look at the future of doing it mom/daughter, father/son.)
By the way, in the morning we’ll finish the final two sessions of our study and wrap up our trip by heading back to NY City to catch the Mets and Cubs tomorrow night, before flying home Thursday morning. Should be a blast! (for future reference, stuff is expensive in NY, but the upstate is really beautiful)
Oh, yeah, they have gas here and it’s cheaper than ATL! :(