My Senior Trip
- 2002 9 Sep
If you could keep just one memory of you with your mom, what would it be? For me it was a trip my mom and I took the summer before my senior year in college. I never had a high-school senior trip like many kids, so Mom and I decided we'd better take a trip while we had the chance. My mother loves antiques. She got me interested in them when I was little by helping me pick some dishes I liked and then helping me look for them on our trips. She taught me how to save and plan for the future as she helped me find good buys. By the time I was 16, I was as interested in antiques as my mom, so for my senior trip we decided to travel by car to some small towns and shop along the way.
We traveled from Arkansas into Tennessee, Kentucky, and Missouri, stopping anywhere that fit our fancy. We bought quilts, dishes, cameras, buttons, knickknacks, and gifts for family. We stayed in old homes (bed-and-breakfasts) all along the way.
One of the places where we stayed had a claw-foot bathtub. That night we got in late and we wanted to get an early start the next morning, so Mom suggested we leave right after breakfast. But after breakfast I told Mom I wanted to take a shower in that old tub, just to see what it was like. I remember her laughing and asking me afterward if it was better than a shower at home.
Now my husband, Michael, and I live in a house that is almost 100 years old. It has an original claw-foot tub, so I get the experience every day--it's wonderful! I really appreciate my mom not hurrying me off to accomplish our list for that day, but instead allowing me to enjoy something that probably wasn't very important to her.
The most important feature of this trip was the quality time with my mom. As one of six children I did not have a lot of one-on-one time with each of my parents, so this was invaluable. We talked about marriage (although I wasn't dating anyone at the time) and what was important in finding and choosing a mate. Mom gave me advice and thoughts on how to feel better about myself.
As we entered stores filled with old-fashioned sewing machines, handmade lace, Depression-era glass, and stained-glass windows, we explored a world that was passing away, and we found memorabilia we'd never seen before. I would pick up a dish or a bottle (I also collect old bottles) and tell her I liked it. If she didn't agree with me immediately, I began to question if I really wanted it or not.
I saw that her opinion was well thought out, and it became more meaningful to me. She forced me to make my own choices and stick with them. I was challenged to think on my own, and I tried to be more thoughtful about what I said or did.
On that trip I discovered in a new way how different I am from my mom and how well we complement each other. I'm likely to jump at a new idea or experience. "Hey, Mom," I'd say. "This might be fun. Let's do it!" Mom is more reserved and less impulsive. But often she will go along just to please me, and she ends up enjoying it as much as I do.
Mom became more than a mom on that trip--she became my friend. Our friendship has continued to deepen as I enter new phases of life, first as a wife, and now as a mother. On this trip I saw how much she provided balance for me and how wise my mom really is.
Now as I look around my house I see bits of our trip here and there, and I am reminded of my mom and the finer things in life: relationships. Mom didn't take that trip so she could buy some more antiques for her home or mine (we have plenty), but rather to invest in me. She has devoted her entire life to being my mom, and this trip was just another step in the journey of building a legacy in my life that would last when she is gone. This investment will continue to live as I pass on the value of relationships to my children.
About the author: Ashley Rainey Escue is daughter of Dennis and Barbara Rainey and has co-authored a book with her mom entitled, "A Mother's Legacy". Ashley is also the co-host of FamilyLife This Week, which is heard every weekend on Christian radio stations around the U.S. She is now married and has two sons.