Several years ago, we were inspired to take our children on a 10-year-old trip. Two families, from completely different paths of life, do something similar. They are families we greatly admire – they are Catholic, they are faithful and they are focused on raising children with integrity. To the Aitchison and Thoman families, thank you for helping us start a really awesome tradition in our own family.
When Scott and I first started planning Will’s 10-year-old trip (to be fair, it was like four years ago that we started dreaming and saving for this day!), I was reminded of my trip to Las Vegas on my 21st birthday with my grandfather and its many life lessons. That is definitely another blog post!
We have what the secular world would consider a large family. With five children under the age of 10, three of whom are enrolled in a Catholic school and a husband who works for a non-profit, we don’t have many “extras.” We don’t eat out often. The kids are allowed one extracurricular activity. We don’t vacation in Europe. Shoot most of our vacations are spent pretty close to home! We send the kids outside often and tell them to “get creative.” We don’t have credit card debt that can’t be paid off every month. We have a mortgage. We have one paid for and one almost paid for cars. There is no fancy high graduation trip in the works or a blowout Sweet 16 birthday party brewing. We live life intentionally, with purpose.
The 10-year-old trip only has two requirements: 1) you must travel on a plane to get to your destination and 2) you must choose only one parent to accompany you. It’s likely that this will be the only trip our children ever take with us on an airplane. We recognize that our children don’t get uninterrupted, one-on-one time with us all the time, and certainly not for days at a time. We also recognize that at age 10 we are still somewhat cool and we pray that the door of opportunity to engage in meaningful, heartfelt conversations is opened and strengthened during our time together. Will’s middle school experience is just two short years away. He’s already lived more than half his life in our home. This trip is about spending precious time with a parent in a place that has significant meaning for that child.
Nothing about the way we live says “expected.” Just ask my children to show you their chore charts! I doubt any of our children will come home with a bag full of overpriced souvenirs. Rather, I pray they come home with a full heart, love and respect for their mom or dad, thankfulness for their Creator and more sweet memories than any bag could ever hold.
Washington, D.C. or bust 🙂