Brave Parents

My friend Sally just returned home from a month-long road trip with her kids. She took her 11-year-old son and her 6-year-old daughter, without her husband, and drove from Minnesota to Maine and back. She is the bravest mom I know! I love my kids, but the thought of a month in the car without another adult and the three of them bickering… I’m not sure if we all would have made it home alive!

Sally called her husband as she crossed the Wisconsin border on the first day of their journey. She heard the fear in her own voice as she said goodbye once again and it sunk in that this was the point of no return—she was really doing it.

And she did. Through the Midwest, into Pennsylvania, New York City, Niagara Falls, Boston, all the way to a cottage in Maine. She planned stops to see friends, relatives, and landmarks. She navigated back roads, mediated backseat battles, and gambled on how long each of them could wait until the next rest stop. Along they way, they got lost, pulled over by police, and had experiences together that the three of them will never forget—and she did this all by herself. She’s my hero!

Sally called me once from the road, as she drove a long stretch of a two-lane highway in upstate New York. When I heard her voice, I could tell it had been a while since she’d had a grown-up conversation. Yet she didn’t complain once and was super cheerful about everything. She is Supermom.

The three of them are now back at home. I’ve been regaled with stories from her young daughter about the Empire State Building, a ferry ride, and getting pulled over by the cops when they were lost. Sally told me that despite the incredible real-life education of America they all received, the best part was how her kids rose to the occasion of being great travel partners. They stayed in many strange guest rooms of Sally’s old college friends, but she said her kids were respectful, gracious, and content. She even commented on how her son responded with gratitude for every experience.

My friend took a huge leap of faith this summer. She trusted herself and trusted her kids, and, boy, was she rewarded.

This week, I wish you the courage to jump into the unknown and reap the reward that comes with being brave.

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