When Don and I decided to move to Havasu from Vegas six years ago, it came at a price. We both have kids with previous partners who remained in Vegas. So since we were the ones who moved away, it was our responsibility to do most of the driving to be sure the ex’s got their fair share of time with kids. Over the years it evolved from us driving to Vegas to drop off the kids every Friday and then back to Vegas to pick them up every Sunday, to meeting my ex half way on Fridays and driving all the way to Vegas on Sundays to what it is now where we meet my Don’s ex half way on Fridays and my ex half way on Sundays. I used to dread this drive – it’s 6 hours round trip if we go all the way in to Vegas and 3 hours round trip if we go half way. What I have come to learn is that even this dreadful trip is a blessing in disguise.
When we first moved Damon was 9, Tyler was 7, and TJ was 3. As they have gotten older I find that we spend the 3 or 6 hours of drive time talking about everything from what they did in school to what video games they are playing or books they are reading to what girls they have a crush on and when they should start dating. Conversations have been about God, religion, sex, drugs, families and everything in between. I realized the other day that I might be making that trip for the last time (with the possibility of us moving to Texas) and I was actually saddened by that. There is no other time in our day that my kids and I talk like we do on that drive.
As often as I cursed having to make it, it may have been one of the best things to happen to me and my kids. I believe we are much closer and that I have been able to transfer many of the lessons of life to them that I wanted to on that drive. As much as I was looking forward to being free of it, I must say I will truly miss the constant chatter of my children and can only hope that we can find another way to keep those lines of honest communication open as we go through the door of this change in all of our lives.