August 12, 2014
The first round was traveling with my 15yr old daughter for a trip I had promised her in lieu of not being able to celebrate her Quinceañera (Latin version of a sweet sixteen) and it was our way to celebrate. I was hoping to be able to have time to talk to her about some things that we never had a chance to do during the separation/divorce, things from my point of view, when I had been told not to discuss 'my gay life' with her, things about her life, her point of view on many things and get a general feeling of where she is/was. Let's just say that being stuck in airplanes for a long time sure helped--we had many heart-to-heart discussions, no limits on topics, no judgements.
She blew me away on her views on the world, my life, her life and how it all sort of fits together in her mind. Things that I had been worried about her that are really not issues and realized that there are things she does worry about that I had not considered. She also amazed me at what a good navigator she is--she did screen shots of places we were going to and was able to pull them up on her phone to get to places she wanted to visit--of course I'm biased--but I'm so proud of her level of maturity and how she is facing the world and how she sees life, she makes me a proud papa.
Fast-forward to the last week of July. My son asked me to come along with him on a trip--his original plans sort of fell through so he asked if I could go and I was more than happy to step in and being able to pull it off. We spent a few days trekking around, went to a sporting event he really wanted to see for a long time and just wandered. I had had many conversations with him in the past so this situation was different but we still managed to have a lot of good talks, reassure where our relationship is as a father/son and how it is evolving now that he is learning to be an adult.
He also did his homework, figuring out how we could get around, costs, times, etc--he put a lot of effort into this trip and as usual he is very easy going, just ready to take on the next place, walk for blocks, ride subways, etc & keep things flowing without a specific schedule and just enjoy the time. Sure, I'll be paying for all of this in due time, but then I read this and makes perfect sense in my head:
We certainly made a lot of good memories, and I hope to be able to make a lot more in the future, whether in similar format or whatever we are able to do. The saddest parts for me were to say goodbye to them at the airport once they were heading back to their home--it never gets easy whether it is dropping them off at their mom's house or an airplane, a parent's heart hurts just the same, I did my best to hide the tears and broke down once I didn't have them in front of me, but life goes on and so must I...
This year sure has been one to make up a lot of the past years I have not been able to travel. I had forgotten how much fun it is, but I also confess that it gets tiring, the allure of getting on an airplane does get old after a while but again, it is a small price to pay for the good times...