I finally got my laptop returned to me….thank God!
I think I socked away major credit in the Mommy Karma Account for a trip I took a few weeks ago with my 10 year old. It was a tough one, but the memories are still warming my heart.
I went on a two day school field trip with my 4th grade daughter’s class – 40 kids and 12 volunteer parents. I did this same trip two years ago with my oldest and I have to admit I was NOT looking forward to the lousy hotel, bus ride, bad food and big ticket price… But it was important to my daughter and probably more important to me that she knew I was there for her. There was indeed a big comfy hotel bed to look forward to where I could order room service and have a semi-decent bottle of wine and settle in to read Nook porn or shamelessly watch chick movies on TV by myself!
So off we went to Sacramento to discover our State’s history, mine for gold, make Indian arts and crafts, and explore the State Capitol. Two days together, I knew would turn into two days of her hanging with friends and me with the moms. I found myself surrounded by a group of parents that I have never had the chance – in my busy business life – to get to know throughout the school year. These were moms and a few dads that I have never had a meal with, and I totally enjoyed everyone’s company.
I got a chance to get to know my daughter’s friends – which is invaluable to her because now we can engage in a conversation that is of interest to her and I can put faces to the names of people she’s excited about. Having a conversation that’s meaningful to my children means I get a response instead of a bored look out the window.
I also got a chance to hear some other mom’s perspectives on divorce and share some parenting stories about similar things we are all going through. I appreciate the common denominators that we all have in a social circle I may not find myself in. I opened my mind and made a positive experience out of what could have been a tough trip. I actually took some valuable things away from it. It was much harder two years ago and a different experience with a very different child.
When I went before, with my oldest daughter, it was all about her friends, unless her shopping funds were running low and another souvenir shop was on the schedule. But my sensitive, soulful tender 10-year-old gazed back at me from time to time, checked on me, made sure I was ok, and even broke the rules and sat with me on the bus (no, I didn’t correct that one!) On this trip, the children had to room together in their own hotel room and parents were to stay by themselves. But she held my hand along the way and gave me many hugs and kisses throughout our journey that made me feel so good.
The next night back in Malibu, she said the words that I believe many of us moms hope to hear in our endless quest of unconditional love and giving. Appreciation, we know, is hard to come by but it does happen… she said, “Mommy, thanks for being there for me and thanks for making the time, and for always being there for me when I need you.”
My eyes teared up, my heart warmed, and I felt so happy. Who knows what’s coming back at us when we go out of our way as parents? So many of the moms were surprised to see me on the trip, considering I am mid-season on my show, but I booked the time out early in the year to be there for my daughter. Even if the trip had been a nightmare, I would have felt good about that. What I got in return was so valuable and made us closer. It’s one of those trips that we will not forget.
Sometimes you have to bury yourself in a situation and open your mind to the experience. You just might find yourself in a different, unexpected, enjoyable place creating moments that will make a difference.
Here’s some pics of our trip!
The California State Capitol building
Making necklaces out of Indian trading beads.
Mining for gold.