Four Lessons I Learned From Traveling With My Son

Summer is about more than hot days, salmon-coloured shorts, wine tasting and food festivals for me. It is when my son comes to visit for the longest stretch of the year. Now that we are separated by 3,000 miles, summers with him have become an event. Last year when he turned 5, the moment I waited for since I found out I was going to be a father came. He was old enough in body and mind to travel the world and have those memories remain with him for a long time. I remember what venturing different places with my father did for me. My son knew he would be coming to California and because it was his second time, he was hesitant at first. The first time he visited, he was four and was not fully aware of the concept of being with me for such a long stretch. Before I moved to California, it was always two weekends-a-month and at times a week every four months.

I will be honest and admit that I, too, had my concerns. I felt down during his first visit with me as he underwent his adjustment period. I could only describe it as rejection. It wasn’t a feeling I hoped to repeat our second time around.

I planned a trip for us to Japan and was unsure whether this trip would worsen his adjustment period or not. Something interesting happened as our trip began and continued to unfold. We began learning more about each other. I saw my love and appreciation for him in my life evolve from love at first sight—solely because he was my son—to loving more of his qualities and appreciating him more than I ever did. I realised that not only was he biologically part of me, our souls also forged a connection that reinforced the bond we already had.