My older son, John, and I returned from you late Saturday night.
We made memories on our journey. We:
- conversed about faith, forgiveness and future goals.
- enjoyed seeing the actual Magna Carta at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts!
- were captivated by our tour of the USS Constitution and learned the origin of the word “scuttlebutt.”
- ate the best Boston Irish seafood ever!
- experienced conflict and resolution.
- enjoyed 2 Red Sox Games, including one where a fan jumped the seating fence and was tackled by 4 security officers between 1st and 2nd base (unfortunately, a curse – they lost the game).
- allowed ourselves to relax in the hotel room on a very rainy day in the city.
Most importantly, our relationship strengthened.
Boston, you are one of my favorite cities. Thank you for helping me to grow closer to my son.
Catie (Cate Pane)
Courtesy of Cake Methodology
As we stood swaying to the Red Sox anthem, “Sweet Caroline,” I thanked God and my lucky stars for my older son. If it weren’t for John, my love for this Boston baseball team would never have been born.
As a matter of fact:
- I’d never have discovered that one can love both classical music and classic munchies (Pop Tarts!).
- I’d never have discovered my love for Boston.
- I’d never have discovered that (for me), ice hockey is by far the most captivating sport.
Spending one-on-one time with kids is critical. Research demonstrates that nurturing your relationship with your child and communicating support helps stimulate cognitive development. Furthermore, that time may increase teens’ social confidence and feelings of self-worth.
It isn’t always easy traveling with teens. Sleep schedules, occasional moodiness and impatience with sight-seeing can cause conflicts. But, having taken several trips with each of my sons, I have found that the positives far outweigh the negatives.
Tips for traveling with teens:
- Plan the trip together. Both parent and teen can plan for activities to enjoy. Hopefully, many of the plans can be appreciated by both. On this trip, my son chose a “Duck Tour” of Boston. Surprisingly, I actually enjoyed it, “quacking” and all!
- Let your teen sleep longer in the morning. This can allow for the parent to spend time alone enjoying an activity that a teen may not savor. Teens need more sleep than adults. Heaven knows we don’t want to awaken them too early and suffer the consequences the rest of the day! In fact, I am presently blogging as John snoozes away in the other bed.
- Give your teen responsibility. Use their strengths to aid in developing independence. My older son LOVES maps. He has been in charge of negotiating the fabulous “T” subway system of Boston.
- When conflicts arise, deal with them and let them go. Yesterday, John and I were inadvertently separated on the subway, After figuring out the cause of the snafu, we quickly let it go.
- Show your child how to compromise. Don’t expect your teen to behave as an adult, but don’t allow them to hijack the trip to suit their own purposes either. Teens are in a self-centered stage of development. So, adults need to make sure that the trip isn’t run by their child. Yesterday, John went on a batting practice tour of Fenway Park while I went back to the hotel to nurture my sore throat. (This was after my tear-filled melt down, losing my subway pass and a taxi ride that made absolutely no sense!) He wasn’t happy going on the tour alone at first, but ended up enjoying it. I needed to stop and take care of myself. John needed to step outside of himself and empathize with my need to rest.
Guess what? Nobody died.
Some 17 years ago, when I held my first child in my arms with trepidation and naivete as to the future, I never dreamed how much I’d love my son and discover about myself when traveling with him.
So, in the words of Neil Diamond:
Good times never seemed so good
I’ve been inclined,
To believe they never would
Oh, no, no”
Catie (Cate Pane)
Needless to say, after 19 years of marriage, we are more than aware of the sober reality of weaving our lives together. Children, family and friends are certainly a blessing. But, with blessings come love and with love comes both joy and pain.
Some seasons are colored more with pain. And when we think it is all too much to bear, an oasis of optimistic inspiration changes our mood.
Thank God for amazing days and beautiful breaks from reality.
Saturday, we attended a lovely, romantic and joy-filled wedding. My mind wandered back to my own August wedding, nearly two decades ago. My head was filled with the melodious music of Bach’s, “Joy of Man’s Desiring.”
As the bride and groom exchanged their vows, sealing a precious covenant, their countenance was absolutely exhilarating. Seriously, their happiness was so very profound that the stunning bride nearly skipped down the aisle as the new couple processed out of the church.
It made ME feel like skipping.
I relived being pronounced “husband and wife.” But, as we have evolved as a married couple, we have learned to negotiate the floor of unexpected twists and spectacular turns.
Frank and I have learned to dance.
We have bellied birth and limboed loss.
We have chasséd professional twists and turns.
We have waltzed health and tripped through illness.
And have foxtrotted serious decision-making resulting in both positive and less than favorable directions.
Frank and I will never be that wide-eyed, amateur couple again.
Looking back, I know that learning to dance was made possible by the mutual rhythm of our faith. Sans our shared beliefs, we would have spent more time stepping on each other’s toes than moving together in time.
I guess God knew our future.
We met in a swing dancing class and we’ve been partners ever since.
Catie (Cate Pane)