I haven’t traveled much over the past few years, however, I did make one trip last year that was really meaningful. I visited (surprised) my Mom by traveling from Scotland to her home in Dallas, Texas for her birthday.
Like most of my trips to visit my Mom, it wasn’t a big exotic destination vacation, it was something much more valuable.
See growing up my sister and I did a lot of traveling, but we didn’t grow up having exotic destination vacations in Hawaii, Mexico, etc. I actually never did any of that until much later in my life. Because my parents were divorced and weren’t swimming in money our travel was all about going back and forth to get “in-person” time with one set of parents or the other. We’re talking several roundtrip flights a year during all the school breaks for many years in a row.
As a parent with two kids, pets, and jobs, I know how much all this traveling cost my parents in time and money, and yet I probably don’t know half of it.
My Mom certainly gave up a lot so that we could have these trips. She certainly put her own time and enjoyment behind her kid’s needs. To say I’m really glad my Mom made this sacrifice, one of her innumerable contributions to my life (and my sister’s), seems insufficient. As Donald Winnicott put it, I am in infinite debt to her.
Is not this contribution of the devoted mother unrecognized precisely because it is immense? If this contribution is accepted, it follows that every man or woman who is sane, every man or woman who has the feeling of being a person in the world, and for whom the world means something, every happy person, is in infinite debt to a woman.
We didn’t get the exotic vacation time growing up but we sure got a lot of time together. I think all of us are kind of homebodies now as a result, and I also think we are also really easy to please too. We all enjoy joining each other in our homes for a few days. Being home is the destination.
Don’t get me wrong, traveling outside your home country is an invaluable way to grow as a person as well as recharge. However, having a few nights of sharing a good home-cooked meal, playing cards, and watching a movie together with any one of my family is far more valuable than a destination vacation.
I’m glad I was able to get that time with my Mom (thanks to a lot of help from her husband Marvin!) and am looking forward to more, beach destination or not.
Happy Mother’s Day Mom! ❤️