Seeds and seafaring

This is a week of anticipation. On Sunday we will be taking 6 of our grandchildren on a cruise. This is not only a very exciting adventure, but it is a lesson in what we therapists call “seeding.”

Our grandson Daniel had his Bar Mitzvah a couple of months ago. Like his father, Daniel has a good sense of humor, and as he spoke about himself and his family, he mentioned something to the effect of our being tour guides and traveling and joked that for our information, he’s free to travel at the end of June.

We came home that night and the seed that he planted in my mind began to grow. Two years ago I had the opportunity to take my oldest grandchild with me on one of the tours I guided to China. We spent 11 days in Beijing and it was a completely wonderful experience. I was lucky enough to have some other young girls on the tour. The girls were 12, 13, 17, 22, & 24 — and amazingly, they really enjoyed being together and formed a little subgroup. Staying in the same hotel gave them an opportunity to get to know the neighborhood and feel at home there. We saw some magnificent sights such as the Great Wall, the Forbidden City- which I talk about here and here and here , and the Summer Palace– a place where the group had a lot of fun! My granddaughter learned to bargain (she’s much better than I am) and she learned some Chinese words, and best of all, we now have a shared experience that was very very special.

It seemed to me that Daniel’s joking about a trip made sense and that there had to be a way that we could treat him to something special. My first thought was that my husband could take him somewhere. Unfortunately, an opportunity like the Beijing trip doesn’t come along very often– perhaps never again since it was pre-Olympics and now everything is much more expensive. Then I began to think, “why should he have all the fun!” and the idea began to form in my head. Finally we decided that we could go on a cruise and take advantage of the fact that the 3rd and 4th passengers in a room were half-price. So we decided that my husband would room with three boys and I with three girls. Our oldest grandson was unable to come with us because he has a bagrut, a Regents- type of exam on Sunday, the day the cruise leaves. So, we looked for the next younger grandson. Unfortunately, he had an end of the year celebration during the time we will be away, so we went for the next one. In the end, we will have three 13 year olds, one 12 year old, and two 11 year olds. We will have two brothers, two sisters, and boy/girl twins with us.

We will be visiting for a couple of hours each in Turkey, Greece, and Cyprus. We think it will be wonderful!

And the most amazing part is that the whole idea came from a little seed that Daniel planted in my brain. See how powerful offhanded jokes can be?