Last Christmas when I was shopping for gifts, I saw this adorable little trinket that said “follow your dreams” on it. It’s the kind of cute little thing I’m always buying for one of my girls. I picked it up, examined it, thought for a moment, and put it back down. I wasn’t in the mood to promote my kids following their dreams if they didn’t involve them living within a fairly close proximity to me or the rest of their family.
If you’ve been reading our blog or are family or friends, you know that my daughter/fellow blogger, Christina, and her new husband, Nate, are planning on taking the next year or so to travel the country in their camper van. Christina has also let us know that they’re not exactly sure where they’ll end up settling after their year of traveling is up.
Related: Why Travelling is Good for Your Soul
I know it all sounds so free and exciting, but I definitely had a hard time with the idea when Christina first told me about it.
The one year of traveling won’t be so bad. Of course, they’re spending a lot of money retrofitting the van and they’re giving up their jobs. And they’re not settling into their first home post-wedding like I thought they would be. Yep, they’ve got different plans and dreams than I expected—different plans and dreams than the ones I had when I was their age.
What’s so hard for me to imagine is Christina and Nate living far away. I understand that there are so many ways these days to stay in touch and communicate with one another, but in my heart, I feel that there’s nothing like the closeness that comes with living near one another and spending time doing fun and everyday things together. Our family, especially us girl, have always done a lot of things together – crafting, spending afternoons swimming or at the beach, going to concerts, and, of course, shopping. My favorite thing to do together—my favorite thing ever in the whole world– is just having family dinners together—talking, telling stories, and laughing. It’s hard to imagine an everyday life without Christina and Nate in it.
That being said, I do want Christina and Nate to follow their dreams. Every good parent wants their children to live the life of their dreams. Yes, even if it takes them far away. So many times over the years my own Mom told me how much she missed me living nearby (I left Michigan when I was 21) but that she was so happy that I made a life for myself where I was happy.
If Christina and Nate find that they ultimately want to settle in some place far away, we’ll be okay. Yes, there will be tears and heartache, but we’ll build a new reality and new dreams. I suppose I could imagine this new world. And we would make it a good world.
How did you deal with big milestones in your kid’s lives – milestones that took them off into the world without you (like starting kindergarten, learning to drive, or moving away)?
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