Many years ago I read a book called Love Does by Bob Goff where he talks about how his family found a way to celebrate each child individually. John and I were both so challenged by how we would communicate to each of our children how special they are. In the book the author suggests that love is a verb, not a noun. Love happens when we put things into action. It clicked that doing an adventure like this would be an act of showing the kids how much they are treasured by experiencing something with them. This idea that Bob Goff puts forward to celebrate a child at the age of 10 (or whatever works for your family) was so appealing to us that we jumped on board and began with our oldest, Rowan.
The Go Family Adventure Way
We decided to set some parameters and clearly lay out how this could happen. We did not necessarily take the trip ON the birthday or even near the 10th birthday, but rather sometime during that year. The first rule is the location has to be within driving distance of where we live. The second rule is that the location choice needs to be completely that child’s idea/dream/wish/desire. The third rule is that the trip cannot last more than 4 days. The final rule is that the child must participate in making plans for the trip, weighing in on hotel, activities, shows, and food.
Celebrate Your Kids
Imagine the delight John and I felt as each of our kids made their choices and invited us in to a part of who they are. What a window into their worlds! We had incredible conversations leading up to the trips revolving around what types of things they each wanted to do, where the hotels were located compared to activities and more. There was such sweetness in observing what mattered to them and why they wanted to experience the things they chose. Most importantly, it has been a wonderful way for us to get to focus on one child at a time in a very special way.
Each 10 year old adventure has been totally unique to each of our children. One of our little secrets is that we pretty much said yes to everything they asked while on the trip. At first we were apprehensive to let them do and have whatever they wanted in the moment. It was very different from how we operate in the day to day life at home. Guess what-no one asked for anything outrageous! I believe the craziest thing we dealt with was an ask for ice cream at 9:00 am. They loved it so much that we decided to implement a 15 AND 20 year old adventure, with a few changes to the parameters. At 15 they can go anywhere in the U.S. and at 20 they can choose anywhere in the world. We can’t wait to celebrate each of them!