Many of you knew I was on a trip with my 13 year-old son recently. What was the occasion? My wife and I promised each of our children when they turned 13 years old, they would get to take a special trip with one of us. My son with me and each of my daughters with my wife. The purpose of these trips is to first have fun and enjoy each other’s company, which is why they each get to pick the destination (must be within a day’s drive) and determine much of the agenda.
There is, however, another purpose for these trips: to celebrate that our son is growing up to be a man and likewise our daughters into women. Becoming a teenager can be a scary prospect (for both child and parent) and this often mutes both parent and child from obvious changes taking place. Yet, we want it to be something we all would celebrate. We also want to communicate the responsibilities that come with this different life stage as well as some of the developmental aspects of it. Therefore, these trips are also designed for us to have very intentional conversations about life as men and women. Many of these conversations had been already taking place for quite a while, but it provides an atmosphere to delve into them a bit more and reaffirm what has already been said.
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