Even Custer’s Mom Empty-Nested

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I just got back from a fabulous 4-day road trip with my husband and 18-year-old son.

Did you realize this year is the 100th anniversary of our National Parks? One of our impromptu stops was a new park to add to our experiences: The Little Bighorn Battlefield. I highly recommend it. We particularly appreciated the self-guided driving trail, and being able to actually stand where Custer last did. I could feel the events happening around us, as if we were immersed in a live shadow of the life story. Powerful.

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Custer’s Last Viewpoint

It makes me want to check out the History Channel for more info.  Does anyone know of a really engaging documentary on The Battle of Little Bighorn that I should check out?  Let me know in the comments, if you would. Thanks!

Ever since the kids were small we’ve taken a ton of driving trips and had a great time, for sure.  But this time, on the edge of empty-nesting, two things were seriously different that I did not see coming:

  1. Traveling with adult kids is really, really cool
  2. Immersing yourself in stops along the way is so worth the time and expense

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Adult kids (isn’t that an oxymoron?!?) are fun to travel with. There is a whole new level of standing-down as a Mom that I got to experience. Like car snacks no longer being needed as a distraction or event. And not having to be constantly on alert and parentally vigilant about things like falling off of cliffs or yelling in restaurants.

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Stopping early in the day and spending time where you’re at is so much more interesting than doing a drive-by and pausing only to sleep. It’s well worth it, and I will remember this when we tally the trip receipts…. My Bozeman experience went so much further than a hotel on the interstate with an amazing breakfast: I got to be in the audience of the outstanding planetarium presentation by that hugely amazing young woman. We enjoyed an incredible meal on the secluded back deck of a local restaurant, and it turns out that the owner and my son were in the bathroom at the same time.  (We now joke that they got to hang out together.) And randomly walking into the historic Ellen Theater  downtown led to a wonderful visit with the manager!

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Medora-ble!

Oh, and when the tire blew? No biggie. I had both my guys taking care of me.  And, we got to enjoy a whole new set of lines from A Christmas Story: “Time me!”  However, no one had to say, “Do you know what your son (or, son-in-law!) just said?!?”

I have always loved our road trips. But as the kids become adults? It’s even more amazing. We all relaxed and enjoyed ourselves and each other more, and in a deeper way. As you are empty nesting, you can finally manage less and allow more, throughout your vacation–and other–processes.

And congratulate yourself! This is now the case because you made your Mama stand throughout all those youngster years! Way to go, then. And way to stand together, now.

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Oh, fudge.

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