Updated: Oct 18, 2022
Snuggery Cove, Port Renfrew, BC
Last weekend, I visited my oldest son who's studying at UBC. For a little Thanksgiving road trip, we hopped on the ferry and drove out to the Juan de Fuca trail. There are few houses, no gas stations on the tight twisty road between Sooke and Port Renfrew, but plenty of rocks, big trees and water. Wilderness. The way we wanted it.
This was our first trip without his two other siblings. He was in shot gun and in charge of the Peach Pit and Silk Sonic playlist, snacks and directions when we lost signal. We dubbed the Hyundai Kona rental car the "Kona Silence". No topic was off limits. For both of us. I listened and (mostly) resisted the motherly urge to offer advice and fix everything. Tough for a mom who feels she has a ton of insight about university to offer.
At the end of the road, we checked into Wild Coast Hiker's Hut "N" a small pine cabin with a bunkbed, and walked down to the Renfrew Pub. We ordered fish and chips and had a pint. He did magic tricks and pulled four the aces from god knows where. We joked with the waitress, and then walked out to the pier in Snuggery Cove just past sunset. Dwarfed by the red cedars and Douglas fir, on the edge of this country, we stood there speechless under the big sky. Both in awe.
It was the first moment we had stopped talking all day.
When I mothered toddlers, I longed for the quiet. Sometimes, I would strap them into their car seats, circling the block in my minivan until they napped. For the silence. For one sip of a coffee while it was still hot.
Now, what I want is for my teens to keep talking to me.
I have a lot more to learn about keeping communication open with them. Especially as they grow into adults. But I feel this road trip gave me some good clues.