A (Jewish) mother on a trip with her grown son -- a concept so outlandish and outrageous, it merits a movie.
The instant I saw the preview of Guilt Trip, I admitted I was guilty -- of doing exactly what Barbra Streisand does to Seth Rogen in the movie. I immediately texted my own grown-up son to say we had to see this movie together.
He lives in a different city and I never did get to see Guilt Trip with him; but I got something way better. A real trip with him. Just us.
There was absolutely no guilt involved in convincing him to come on a last-minute short trip to a resort in Mexico a few weeks ago during winter break.
I don't care how old he is, for a mother, having time alone with your son is paradise. Especially when you're in paradise.
Depending on family finances and family dynamics, it can be challenging; but even a short trip alone with one of your children (at any age) makes a memorable experience.
When I was around 7, my dad took me along on a one-day business trip; and it was so special I never forgot it. So I've tried to do that for my own kids.
Shared experiences create unique bonds and special memories -- away from other family members and friends, you get to see some different and maybe even surprising sides of each other.
That's what happened a few years ago when my son and I found ourselves in beautiful Queensland, New Zealand, which bills itself the adventure capital of the world. Up until that time, my concept of adventure typically ran towards trying a new ethnic restaurant. My son, 16 at the time, had other ideas.
When he suggested skydiving, I said I 'd think about it.
And I did. For at least 3 seconds.
But Daniel really wanted the chance to challenge himself. For me, the challenge was a little different -- and beyond anything in my existing comfort zone.
Wasn't it my job as a mom to protect him? Was I really ready to let him take such a leap on his own?
The way I saw it, this situation presented only one very obvious choice. Somehow, it seemed more scary to wait and worry on the ground, helpless; and more sensible to be with him -- equally helpless.
Besides, I wanted our trip to be a shared experience.
So our mother/son adventure wasn't about guilt, but about guts.
Secretly, I was hoping the weather wouldn't cooperate; but suddenly there we were, all suited up. (Love the photo bomb.)
I think the unofficial national motto in New Zealand is "No Worries." And honestly, I really didn't have (m)any.
When you've had cancer, as I did, jumping out of a plane, especially attached to a handsome (and hopefully experienced) stranger, offered far better odds of survival.
I was so engaged in the moment; and it all happened so fast -- I didn't have time to worry about Daniel, either. I mostly felt proud of him for challenging himself. And I have a feeling I rose a little higher in his estimation, too.
What a view! What an experience! What a story for Daniel to tell my grandchildren someday when he has his own family.
So next time you wonder how far a Jewish mother will go for her son, the answer is 15,000 feet.
In keeping with this post, it's maybe no surprise that Darryle Pollack's personal blog is called I never signed up for this...