A year ago, Jack and I took a trip to San Diego for Spring Break, headed for the Legoland, the Mecca for Lego fans young and old. The trip was a late brithday present. I remember Jack asking why we were taking this big trip for his 12th birthday. "Shouldn't we wait until next year when I turn 13? That's a big birthday." I don't know why we decided to go last year. Maybe we were concerned that Legoland would not sound as cool to a 13-year old boy about to complete this first year of middle school.
In any event, we made the trip, and I am so grateful that we did. We stayed with Anna's cousin Mark while in San Diego, and he was a great host. Jack and I drove to LA to watch the Dodgers, Jack's little league team last year. The game ended in dramatic fashion with a walk-off home run and high fives and fist pumps all around.
But the next day was the big event: a day at Legoland. And it did not disappoint. Jack (and I) were in awe of the hundreds of Lego creations. While other kids sped by each display, Jack methodically examined each one, from every angle possible. I felt an urge to hurry him along, concerned that we would not be able to see everything in the park. But I backed off and let him enjoy the day at HIS pace. This day was for him.
Jack made me take pictures of everything. At first I insisted that he get in each picture, learning from Anna that photos are much more fun to look at later when they have people in them. But after awhile I got tired of making Jack pose, so I just kept clicking away at the hundreds of Lego diplays, until the battery on my phone died.
Recalling our trip a year later, I am so thankful that we shared that time together. It is one of my favorite memories of Jack and is special for me because it was just the two of us spending time doing the things that we liked to do the most. But at the same time, as I reflect on our trip a year later, I am so disappointed and angry that Jack and I won't have another opportunity to get away, just the two of us, and seize the day like we did in San Diego--at least not in this life. I love you, Jack.
P.S. From Anna-- As I drove the kids home from school that rainy Thursday in September, Jack asked again why we had given him his "big trip" when he was 12. I can't remember what I answered. Margaret then said she would be more than happy to wait until she was 13 if it meant we would let her go somewhere "really good" like the Bahamas!