Today we continue to honor motherhood by writing about the gifts our mothers gave us–because motherhood isn’t about pin-worthy crafts and postable Facebook or Twitter moments. Give Belinda (and her mom) some comment love as she shares the gift of adventure her mother gave her.
Perhaps you’ve heard of “one-tank vacations” with the slowdown in the economy. The idea is a round-trip adventure that can be reached on one tank of gas. These days they are being celebrated as a way for people to still get away even on a limited budget by staying closer to home. One-tank vacations were a staple of my childhood, although I doubt they had such a swanky name at the time.
Pretty much any time that we could get away for the weekend, my mom would load the car up with our camping gear, a few clothes, a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter, and off we would go.
Indiana was one of our most frequent destinations. But I also remember road trips to Wisconsin, Kentucky, Michigan, Canada, exotic Florida. I have even camped in Washington, DC. My mom would set up our Army surplus tent and off we’d trek in the woods, or paddle in kayaks down one river or another. We talked to park rangers and lingered over dioramas in visitor centers. Granted, at the time I moaned and groaned and sulked. Bitterly resentful of mosquitoes, bugs and the lumpy ground, I would sleep in the car. To this day, my mom’s idea of a good time involves rustic camping, while I still have no desire to sleep in a tent.
The irony is my daughter loves tramping around in the woods, paddling downstream, a packet of oatmeal for breakfast, a bowl of ramen for dinner. This would be totally unacceptable if I offered it, but coming from Grandma, is an eagerly anticipated highlight to summer. She delights in leaving her regular life behind to explore new horizons, climb new trees, and meet whatever adventures pop up along the way.
While I might not want to replicate the way my mom pursued her adventures, they did instill in me a love of travel. I do things my own way, researching the sights and experiences, the places to stay and eat. But I think my love of exploring new places and trying new things came from my mom’s own desire to adventure out into the world around her. We do not see the world the same way, and we experience it from markedly different viewpoints, but we both have a desire to explore that world, to turn over the rocks and logs, the people and places, and see what’s underneath.
Belinda is a regular contributor to Pruning Princesses. She had a pet monkey when she was 8. In a past life, she was an adviser to college students. Now she’s taking an extended sabbatical to focus on her mom job. She lives in Michigan with her husband, three daughters – ages 10, 8, and 5 – and her son, who is 2. She enjoys travel, cooking, hanging out with her family, and the occasional game of competitive badminton. Read her other posts here.