My oldest son turned 15 this year and is entering his second year of High School starting in September. His summer consisted of visits to the shore along with a few day trips with friends, events, sleepovers… The rest of his time would be spent at home with normal daily activities. Often, I would hear his complaints about being bored throughout the day with “nothing to do”. Sound familiar?
As some parents may know, the teenage years can be a tumultuous time and spending with their parent(s) may be viewed as “wasted” or “boring”….Suddenly, Dad is no longer the “SuperHero” that he once was. Your son may not even wish for your presence in front of his friends, or better yet, nor within public view. This can be quite disappointing. However, being aware of the above, I was not going to let it remove my cape.
I wanted to be conducive in keeping our bond, therefore, before he becomes too enveloped with his own friends and activities at the commencement of his school year, I figured a small change in his environment may leave a nice memory. I too recall having the same feelings during this age, however, what I found to be most memorable were my travels to see my family overseas in Italy.
So, I decided to take him to Italy to see some of the country, but most importantly, to meet our family. We stayed within the homes of our relatives throughout our whole trip, in which I must add that the powerful love and bond of my family is quite unique in its own way. We went and toured throughout cities like Roma and Latina. We went to the town of where we originated from in the mountainous Apennine region of Central Italia, then headed off to the wonderful beach town of Pescara (on the Adriatic) to conclude our father-son trip.
Throughout our travels, I would tell him of my experiences and stories of each and every turn that I made in my life there. I realise that most of what I had to say may not have not garnered much interest nor curiosity, however, I felt that he needed to hear it nonetheless. There were also times that he may have found it “boring” especially if we were sitting at a table in conversation. Grant it, my son does not speak Italian (yes, it’s my fault) so I would have to concur with his dilemma there.
However, beneath all the layers of being a “teenager”, I felt that this particular adventure was most important for the awareness of where his roots originated. He needed to see and understand that there is a much bigger world than what may be deemed as a repetitive day at home. He also needed to be with our relatives who embrace and love him as a son/brother and to show him why he carries the name of my Grandfather, the Stalwart of our family.
In retrospect, the experiences that we shared in this trip may not impact him until later. And I am fine with this since it is only one brief moment in our lifetime. However, even a former SuperHero can still come up with a special feat with the hopes of it one day to be added to the legend and lore that he created once upon a time…