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The August Vacation

Tio and I took a road trip together just before summer ended and we had a great time. We drove down to Boston together, just 2 boys for a long weekend away and completely left our world behind. Just before we left I gave him a mitful of cash so large as to make his eyes bulge (it doesn't take that much to impress a 12 year old) and told him he could spend it on anything without having to ask me. We walked along Newbury Street looking at all the shops, went to the Museum of Fine Arts and saw some impressive painting (he only wanted to know what they cost), had a barbeque with friends where we stayed 2 nights, and went to a late movie that was WAY too inappropriate for a 12 year old. The next day, we visited Concord to see where his dad was born and where the American Revolution started. As it turns out, Tio is a direct descendent of Isaac Davis, the first Minuteman to go down at the old North Bridge. There's a statue of the man there and everything but it didn't impress the boy. After going to thr mall and getting caught in the rain at supper, we decided on a second movie that night rather than finding live music or something else. The next morning we were ready to go home. Sailing up the turnpike, at one point Tio remarked that we needed gas. Good thing! I'd meant to fill up but forgot and another 5 miles along we would have had a whole new adventure.

It was a great time for us both. There was no pressure, no anger, no issues to deal with. We just enjoyed where we went and each other's company. It was an oasis in a sea of issues and day to day struggles. In some ways, it was a throwback to the times when I could be just Grampy and not G-Dad with rules and limits.
Buddy and I took a similar trip 24 years ago, when he was 9. We flew together to Toronto from our home in Concord for a whole week. Our job was to buy a house for the family to live in. Buddy was ADD and could be out of control at times but this trip was wonderful for us both. We travelled all over the place looking at houses, sightseeing, visiting friends and family without one hitch or meltdown. By the time we went home, we'd put an offer on a house. (The amazing thing was that Tish trusted the boys to buy her next home without even seeing it!) It was a wonderful time to be friends that we've never really had since.

Travelling one on one with a child is a great experience. You can combine fun with learning and adventure in a trip that they'll never forget. Tio didn't express an opinion about the art we saw or the history we heard but I know it stuck and will mix in with all the other things he learns, experiences, and shares along with the bond we strengthened just by being together.

I know I will find the right time for Kit and Doc to share this kind of adventure with me, maybe more than once, so that each of us has a chance to get to know the other as a person, a friend and someone who will have a lifelong interest in each other.