April 12, 2010

Alaska and a Small World

Arctic swim - just before the jump

Saturday evening I went to the High School Gospel Fest concert at Tufts University. Eight or nine different area schools had come together for the day to meet and inspire each other with music; their sessions were capped off by an evening concert of wonderful music, which is the part I went to. Through an evening of foot tapping and singing I kept looking over my shoulder wondering why everyone looked so familiar. Well maybe not everyone, but SOME of them.

End of the evening, the lights came up and it clicked. Mike, Anne, Conor and Molly – new friends made years ago on my first Thomson Family Adventure, in Alaska. We all live in the Boston area, but I guess we had to travel to Glacier Bay National Park to meet.

This is one of the amazing things I’ve discovered about a Thomson trip, that like minds find like adventures. And on these adventures families who might never have found each other do meet, and children make friends they’ll remember through their lives. Most importantly the memories formed on these great discovery trips are imbedded in a way so that you are bonded forever, whether you maintain a close relationship through the years or simply bump into each other every so often. The stories remain part of all of us, and visit our dinner table on a regular basis.

So this night at Tufts, true to form, we instantly burst into excited chatter about our memories from Alaska, and we all exclaimed it was still the best we’d ever done (I guess I say that a lot – but it really was fantastic!). Immediately we all remembered my favorite story that I’ve told many times. How my daughter Mira – then 15 – took little Molly – then 7 – under her wing and protectively said “Molly, if you want to jump into the water for the Arctic swim, I’ll go with you” Mind you, that water was about 40 degrees, and Mira had no interest at all in going in – and of course she thought Molly wouldn’t either. But Molly had proven herself that week, and was committed to keeping up with everyone on board, and so she said: SURE LET’S GO! Well they did jump holding hands, but while Molly paddled around, Mira shot straight back up out of the water and on deck almost before she submerged. She wrapped herself in blankets and hibernated in her cabin until her body temperature rose again – poor thing!

My Mira, hearing I saw Molly this weekend, immediately said “OH MOLLY!” and asked a hundred questions about the family and how they are and what they’re doing, with all the excitement and enthusiasm of speaking of any of her favorite things. And this is exactly what I love about a Thomson trip. It makes my heart swell that I have such a lovely, caring daughter and that I’ve been able to give her this gift of discovering the world and the many people in it, all of whom have helped shaped who she is today and who she’ll become in all the years of her life.

Mira and Molly

Thank you Molly, and to all the great friends we’ve made in our travels.

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