Crazy as it seems I’m already planning and booking for our Christmas trips… Yes, I said trips!

Zach has decided to go to Australia to visit the friends he made this year at University who were on exchange from Melbourne, so he’s going solo and although he will likely get a couple of days with family there his trip is primarily focused on catching up with his friends and exploring Melbourne.  Fortunately he has dual citizenship so can come and go as he pleases without any worries.

It’s sad to think that we’ve likely had our last big trip together – just the three of us.  And although on some level I realize that I have a very short amount of time left with Sami it wasn’t until Zach and I talked about his plans for next Christmas during his visit home for Reading Week that I realized that he’s completely independent now – no ifs, ands or buts.

There is no question that I feel like my clock is ticking with Sam, now more than ever.  Fortunately, I’ve raised them both to be very independent in every facet of their lives.  Great for building values oriented, smart, emotionally intelligent young adults, but not so great for me…now that they really don’t need me anymore.  🙂

It’s clear that once Sam leaves for University that our family trips will be at an end…  No more “Three Amigos” trips to cool locales around the world for school or Christmas holidays, a sad moment for sure, but also a passing of the baton so to speak and for to them to begin an independent life full of adventures on their own or with friends.

Clearly I wouldn’t change a thing!

In fact this school holidays Sam went with a school trip to Ecuador and the Amazon basin on a service trip, to help build a school.  Given the reports back from the trip leaders the girls hadn’t been prepared for the difficulty of the environment or the hard work that has been required to complete the task, but they are working hard at making it a reality.

Knowing Sam, she will have taken on a natural leadership role and been the groups cheerleader…just like with her Soccer team in Israel last year.  She has an innate sense of what needs to be done and how best to accomplish it and I know she will go far in no matter what field she decided to go in life.

I realize that I am one fortuate guy and that I have two exceptional young adults, which I think makes it even harder to set them free and watch them blossom and bloom.

Zach has had an incredible first year at McGill, and I’ve seen him for a sum total of five days since last September. No, I haven’t abandoned him, but rather given him space in which to figure out the world without me hovering or helping him sort out the day to day trials and tribulations of growing up and becoming fully independent.

I believe this is one of the greatest gifts you can bestow upon your kids – independence and a sense of self reliance.

He’s already sorted out an apartment next year with one of his mates from University, paid the deposit and they’re set to move in on May 1 in preparation for second year starting in September.  In the meantime he’s been fortunate enough to secure a summer job back here in Toronto, and therefore know that we’ll get a chance to spend some quality time together along with Sam over the summer – yay!!

Who knows…I may even be able to convince them that we need a weekend in New York or Chicago just for old times sake, but perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself on that score.  🙂

Don’t worry I’ll be hinting to see if they pick it up, but I will totally understand if they’d rather stay in Toronto and hang out with their friends.

Sam and I have already discussed our Christmas plans and she is desperate to go back to Australia and visit family, and as such is her first choice.   We’ll have about two weeks break so perhaps a week with family and then another week checking out Ayres Rock or the Great Barrier Reef is in the offing.

We’ll figure it out after she gets back from Ecuador, although I don’t think she’s going to change her mind.

One of the adventures the three of us always wanted to have was to take three to four months, rent a camper (RV) and drive around Australia.  Initially I had thought about it before they started high school, but time go away from us and never made it into a reality…yes, one of the few times!

There was a book that I used to read them regularly when they were little called “Are we there yet?” by Alison Lester.  Which was about a little girl called Grace and her family who decided to drive around Australia as part of an extended holiday.

The kids LOVED that book as it truly captured their imaginations…it has always been a firm favourite and remembered long after the last time I read it to them.  It’s one of those books that surprisingly Sam still references from time to time. 🙂

Clearly I have no one to blame for their independence and love of travel except me…and I wouldn’t want it any other way!

Until next week…