Road trip – final thoughts

As I’ve been sharing over the past few days, my fourth grade son and I went on a road trip this past weekend.  In the process, I made an amazing discovery.

It was just the two of us.  My husband and younger son stayed home.

(Much to my dismay, they hung dead animals on the wall.  Sigh.  Taxidermy.  I’m already working on crocheting a hot pink hat to put on the deer head.)

Up until this weekend, I would have described my oldest son as goofy, geeky, easily distracted, smart, funny, sensitive, energetic, intelligent, creative, and slightly nerdy.

This weekend, I added a new word.

road trip final thoughts

Encouragement.

The word was still ringing in my ears after writing about it for Five Minute Friday last week.

Until last Saturday, I’d never seen it in evidence in my son.  He’s always seemed a little too distracted to even notice other people, much less notice that they might need a little encouragement.

Yesterday, I shared about our journey to the bottom of the canyon and back up.  It wasn’t just a story about a ranch dressing explosion, it was also the story of how my son kept encouraging me every step of the way.

When he said “mommy, I know you can do this” there was such an insistence in his voice.  It left no room for doubt.  But when he started singing at me… well, I had no choice BUT to succeed.  My son started singing Phillipians 4:13 at me.

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

It’s a song he’s heard since Preschool, but I had no idea he still knew it.  (You can hear it at Christianbook.com  Track #8.  I have no affiliation with the website, but I can recommend the CD.)

phillipians 4 13

Encouragement.

It wasn’t the first time over the weekend that I was on the receiving end of my son’s encouragement either.

Saturday, when we stopped for fuel and snacks, he scored a bag of chocolate chip cookies.  He told me he wasn’t willing to share them with me because he didn’t want me to regain the 10 pounds I had just managed to lose.  Then he asked me what kind of healthy snack I wanted from the cooler.

That may not seem like much, but it was only days before that he had waved a brownie in front of my nose asking me if I wanted to at least taste it.  Not just once.

Sunday morning, he trooped with me to the gym at the hotel.  He sat on the bike next to me and tried to keep up.

my son at the gym

He wasn’t thrilled, but he was a trooper.

(I take great pride in being able to out-plank my boys.  They were both impressed.)

At about the 15 minute mark, he gave up.  The machine said he’d burned about 100 calories.  I kept going another fifteen minutes before I stopped.  He knows I normally bike longer than that, so he was concerned.  He made sure I knew it was OK to keep going even if he was bored.

Encouragement.

Best of all was the conversation we had after we left the gym.

My son is a numbers geek.  He’s fascinated with math stuff.  All weekend he was incredibly curious about how many calories were in all the food we ate.  He watched and asked questions every time I used my tracking app.  I’m pretty sure he has a solid understanding of the concept.

(No, he’s not worried about his weight.  We talked about that part too.  We work hard to make sure both our boys have a healthy body image.)

When we left the gym, he asked me how many calories I had to burn to lose a pound.  I gave him the simple answer (also the most generally accepted one) of 3500 calories.

That’s when he stopped dead in his tracks and looked up at me in awe.

Wow.  That’s a lot of work.  You’ve burned 35,000 extra calories since Christmas.  That’s like… HOURS on the bike.  I’m so proud of you.

My son the encourager.

I’m so proud of who he is becoming.

Final thoughts on the road trip?

One on one time with my boys is tough to get.  They’re 16 months apart, so it’s like separating twins.  By Sunday afternoon, the boys were missing each other something fierce.

But getting that one on one time is precious.

It’s worth the effort.

My husband and I both had stories to tell about discovering aspects of our boys that we hadn’t seen yet.  They’re both very different when they aren’t with each other.  Being able to see them as individuals (instead of a single sonic force) is priceless.

I encourage you to find time to treasure your kids as individuals.

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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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Comments

  1. What a great quality for your son to possess and what a great memory of taking a trip together like that. I always joke that my oldest son and I should take a separate vacation than my husband and youngest child because our tastes are more alike (we would like to go to cities and the other two would like to go do outdoor stuff–the outdoor stuff usually wins because it tends to be you know, cheaper). This post makes me think I should find a way to make that happen.

  2. Thank you for sharing your experiences with your son. You now have the wheels turning in my head, to see how I can spend one on one time with each of my children. With the age range of the eldest being four and the youngest one, this will take some planning, but it is so worth it.

  3. So incredibly kind and sweet. I love this post so much! 🙂 Good for your boy and you for seeing it!-Ashley

  4. One on one time with your kids is so precious – even when they are grown. I’m so glad that your road trip provided you with so many great memories. I’m sure it is something your son will never forget.

  5. Nice share. It looks like you have a great time going away to your destination. One should make a proper plan.This will not waste your time during travel.Road trips might be a little hectic at times, mainly as it has not well planned

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