The day is nearing when my Girl Child will legally no longer be a child, but an actual adult (at least by legal definition, but no matter how mature an 18 year old is, I still kind of feel like they are big kids)
I don’t really know how to feel about such a big moment~ and while I’m not sure I’m ready for my baby to technically a grown up, I know it’s coming anyway.
As we were talking about her wishes for her upcoming big birthday, I realized that a dream we had for a very long time is not going to be happening.
When my Girl Child was around 12, she came up with the crazy scheme that we should try to travel to and explore all 50 states before she turned 18. I love crazy schemes it and this one was fantastic~ I was on board immediately.
Plan A of the motor home and 6 months of free time was out of my range, as was plan B featuring 4 months and a camper van. But plan C, which involved loading up my old Volvo and driving across the southwest quarter of the country for 5 weeks... that I was able to pull off, and it was awesome. The states on the west coast of the US are huge and the lines on our map show the 7 states we drove through covering almost ¼ of the country.
Stage 2 took us across the Pacific Northwest, and a few more states were under our belts.
Stage 3 to hit the east coast was planned, and by the Girl herself, but sadly, despite the amazing budgeting and organizational skills at play, other unpleasant expenses took the money saved for that adventure. Life happened, time passed, but sadly, the east coast trip didn't fit in.
Stage 3.5 I planned a route through the northern states, but this time, moving happened, and then life continued, and we used our resources and time on other adventures.
While I was figuring out logistics of life, she got closer and closer to 18.
Now, she will be there in a few weeks, and it’s pretty clear that we are not going to be able to make it all 50 states before then. When I asked her about it, she says simply “Yeah, but that’s OK, we went to a couple of different countries instead.”
I love that kid, and her spirit.
Sometimes dreams do have to die in order for new dreams to take their places.
We have had trips with friends, trips to see family, trips to familiar places and far off trips to see the world.
As I type, my Girl Child and her lifelong friend are planning their adventure to Europe for early next year. They already bought their tickets, with money they earned, and are planning the whole thing themselves. They are incredible and competent young people, and their excitement is contagious.
She’s been juggling and hustling, working several jobs to save while taking classes. She’s making her mama proud.
So, while I’m still sort of grieving the death of our 50 States dream, I’m trusting and believing that other dreams will sprout and grow. I may not get to go traveling cross country as a solo mama with my 2 kids and a tent anymore, but I will definitely still be going traveling. I’m sure that a good many adventures will still be with my kids and hope that maybe somehow I will still find a way to see those states.
I would love to take My Girl Child on a grand adventure for her big birthday, but I know that with her busy teen life full of goals and dreams and responsibilities of her own, and my own, the timing may be hard.
Whatever happens, I know that the seeds of adventure have been planted, and even when some dreams get detoured, detained, or even die, we will be dreaming new dreams in no time.
Are you scheming or dreaming any dreams with your family? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below. :-)