Every summer, I take each of my sons on a cycling trip with me. I love this special time with them. We can enjoy each other’s company without rushing for a schedule. Going on our bikes means we can stop whenever we want to look at the cows, cool off our feet in the stream, or try the ice cream at that place up the road. Did I mention that every ride should include ice cream?
These overnight trips invariably have some hardship which we can endure together, then laugh about in years to come. Avery and I got caught in a heavy downpour and thunderstorm in July, and had to seek shelter only 10 minutes after we had left camp. Quinn and I had a serious hill to climb in the midday heat. Each problem gave us a chance to work together to reach our goal. Avery and I talked politics while the water streamed down our faces. I told Quinn stories about my grandfather whom he had never met, and my first (beater) car while we spun up that endless hill.
Each day’s end found us in the tent, telling stories, playing games, or reading a book aloud. We got to laugh about the difficulty, or talk about what we could have done differently. I get to point out to them how they impressed me with their ability to adapt, to keep going when it got hard, how they took more of the burden to make the trip successful than they would have at home. They get to see me relax.
We both get memories worth holding on to.