Friday, May 11, 2012

Travel Buddies

In some ways my mom and I are very different from each other. She has blue eyes and blond hair (well, it used to be blond… now it’s more… um, never mind). I have brown hair and hazel eyes. She, obviously, got married and had a child. I’m trying to avoid both. She doesn’t really like my cat (though she tries hard and pretends well, which is one reason I love her). I think my cat is pretty cool. She can’t be sarcastic to save her life. Sarcasm is my main form of communication – if we ever blog about fathers, I can talk more about that.

However, in other ways, my mom and I are pretty similar, sharing much more between us than a few strands of DNA. We were born in the same month. We can both be very shy with people we don’t know. We have similar tastes in music and movies and television. We both love to read and take pictures.

When I was young, my mom did what all great moms do – loved me and took care of me. How moms do that for their children varies, so my mom probably did things differently than your mom, but they worked for us. Now that I’m older, she still loves me and takes care of me, it’s just different. Now she’s still “mom” when I need “mom,” but she’s also one of my best friends. I know some mothers and daughters can have difficult relationships with each other, but I think my mom and I are lucky in that those differences and similarities somehow mesh well and have allowed us to enjoy being together.

I could list a thousand things that I love about my mom and our relationship, but to spare you, I want to focus on specific thing that I think helped define our relationship when I was younger and continues to grow our relationship now: our Mother/Daughter Trips.

I can’t remember exactly when they started – I think I was about 10 – but since then, every year my mom and I go on a trip together. Depending on financial situations and availability, sometimes it’s a quick weekend at Hershey or Shenandoah, and other times we’ve splurged for a longer trip like a week in South Dakota. These trips started as an opportunity for mom and I to spend quality time together, have “the talk,” discuss things that girls need to know about growing up and being godly women, my attitude problems, or just anything else that came to mind. Sometimes it was awkward, but it really showed my mom’s love for me. And adding in a cool roller coaster or something helped ease the pain. As I’ve gotten older, we still talk. We have discussions about problems and struggles or goals and ideas... my attitude problems... or just the nice scenery we’re passing.  But we talk more as equals now. It’s like the discussions I have with my friends, but with little motherly touches, which is good; just because we're more like friends now, doesn't mean I'd ever want her to stop being my mom.

For each trip we took, my mom would search and find a charm to buy. On my 30th birthday, she gave them to me. The original plan was to put them all on charm bracelet as a reminder of our trips together, but I don’t really wear jewelry, so we’re looking for some way to make a nice display with them, so I can always be reminded of the times we had together on those trips. Just opening the present, I took each charm out and one-by-one we remembered each trip.

This isn’t to say that going on vacation together is the only way to spend time together. We also go shopping together, hang out with friends, or even just watch TV. Sometimes she shows up at my door just to give me a hug after I’ve had a horrible day. But I think these trips have helped us forge a special bond with each other, and I thank God that she took the time and energy to do them with me.

And by the way, this year’s trip is Tennessee! Woohoo!


  1. You are so sweet! Would you like to follow each others blog on GFC? XoXo

  2. Look out Amy Grant and Vince Gill! Janda and Sandra are headed your way!! Loved your post, Janda. Now that my mom is gone, I miss those hugs and the talks, and being together. God has truly blessed you with a wonderful mama.

  3. Kinda was having the same feelings Paula mentioned as I read your blog, Janda -- missing my sweet mom's hugs, our talks, etc. We never went on trips together -- just the two of us -- but we had lots of great times together! Thanks for sharing your love for your mom, Janda! Makes me thankful for the relationship my mom and I had...