Sometimes I like to stare fear right in the face. I like to try new things; things I’m scared of, just to say I did it. Just to show my kids that I am their mother and I can do it all! That’s what I did recently on an amazing outdoor adventure trip to Squamish, BC. The folks at Chevrolet Canada recently brought select media to this little town, known as Canada’s outdoor recreation capital, for the chance to seek out new adventures and test the new 2015 Chevy Colorado. I knew I would miss my kids, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to hike one of the most famous mountains in the world, the Stawamus Chief, paddle board along a river for the first time and be on my own for three days on the other side of the country. It was truly a trip of a lifetime.
All the while I couldn’t believe that I was there, that I was actually doing it.
Years ago, when I was married, I would have relied on my husband to organize a trip, to drive the truck and to hold my hand while I tried something new. As I drove the along the winding Sea to Sky Highway, over frightening bridges and through the drizzling rain, I couldn’t help but feel my chest puff out just a little bit. Here I was, little old me, who has been through so much, transporting others in a large vehicle on foreign terrain. My hands were sweaty as I gripped the wheel, but by the time I made it from Vancouver to Squamish, by the time I’d hiked past waterfalls, eaten salmon berries from the bushes and had a few pints of beer with my new friends, I realized that I wasn’t little old me anymore.
I was independent. I was fearless. I was a new Erin. Yes, an Erin who missed her kids but an Erin who was fun and social and strong. An Erin willing to try new things and tackle new adventures. I don’t need a ring on my finger to be someone. My hands are bare, which made it much easier to climb new mountains!
If you’re planning to take a getaway of your own, you’ve still got to make sure your kids are cared for at home. Here are a few things to consider:
Who will watch them? I divided my kids’ time between their dad and my parents and I had to plan a schedule accordingly, letting everyone know in advance who was getting the kids, where they were sleeping and when. Of course, it helps if you get along with and can work as partners with your ex.
What should you pack, for the kids? I made sure to pack the kids with all the clothes they would need each day, including baseball equipment for one night and even some snacks—it was our turn to feed the team!
Don’t forget the important papers. I also left behind the kids’ health cards and medical emergency information. You can never be too prepared.
Let your kids know what’s going on. I talked to my kids about my upcoming trip in advance. Kids—or mine, at least—like to know “the plan” so I went over it with them again and again. This seemed to calm their nerves, as did all of the reassuring hugs and kisses before I left.
Bring your iPad, phone or computer You’re going to want to be able too you can chat with your kids from afar. I Facetimed with my kids a couple times a day. Despite the time difference, it was so nice to see one another in the morning and before bed. I missed them so much!