Wednesday, March 19, 2008

If you do something more than once

It's a tradition.

We have these wonderful friends whose children are about 5 to 8 years older than our crew. Back when ours were still pretty little and theirs were entering adolescence, they gave us some advice. As each child reached 13, the same-sex parent should take them on a one-on-one trip to the destination of their choice. The idea was, when in the throes of the tempests and turmoil of adolescence, we would have something to look back on. At the time, 13 for any of our children seemed fair and far off, so the idea got filed in the back of our minds and we tripped along our merry way, raising our three as best we could (our best being nothing to sneeze at).

Time, in that way it has, passed. The year Clare turned 13, one of the bar organizations sponsored a trip to London. Our friends' advice pushed its way into the front of our minds; suddenly it was do-able. Clare and I went off to the UK. We had 10 days. It was amazing. Now, I don't know that Clare's adolescence was a joyful experience, at least as far as our relationship was concerned, because of that trip. It could have been coincidental, not causal. Still, John turned 13 in September.

His sweater is in his backpack.

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