Homeward Bound

Two weeks ago when Kyle and I departed for our adventure in Patagonia he made one simple request. He asked that we grow our beards until we returned. Although I have maintained a beard at various times in my life, I have not done so since having children. The last time I saw my own beard, there was a much younger man on the other side. Despite the itchiness, there were days on our trek when I appreciated the extra layer of warmth and protection it provided. As we prepared to board our return flight to Boston, Kyle and I made a final father-son photograph to document the growth of our facial hair. What is not apparent from the photo is the growth we experienced in our relationship. I am so pleased that Kyle joined me on this adventure and I feel much closer to him as a result of the long periods of time we spent together uninterrupted by smart phones, iPads, TVs and computers. Sometimes we trekked for hours without speaking a word. Other times we had deep and extended conversations about our respective lives and aspirations. When Maya and Jeanine leave for India in February, they will complete the last Coming of Age adventure for the family (age 13). I would like to initiate a new parent-child tradition called the Journey of Discovery to be repeated with Nicolai and Maya when they turn twenty years of age.