A Letter to My 15 Year Old Son Who Traveled With Me To Lake Constance
I am sorry that I give you such a hard time for cracking eggs all over the counter in the kitchen.
And for throwing your clothes on the floor. And your backpack. And your shoes.
I am sorry for the way I respond when you’ve been on the computer for one hundred and sixteen hours and you eyes are bloodshot from staring at little dots moving around the screen.
I am sorry for the way I focus on the clothes and the computer and the eggs when I should be saying how grateful I am for you.
Because you, my son, are the most wonderful company.
I am so thankful for how you embrace the adventures we have together.
I am so thankful that nine times out of ten, when someone says, “Who wants to go with me to do X?” that your answer is, “I will!”
Who wants to go with me to the store to help carry groceries?
Who wants to go for a walk with me in the woods?
Who wants to try this strange new gingerbread?
Who wants to walk down to the chocolate market and try all the samples again?
So when I asked you if you wanted to go with me for a few days to Lake Constance, for a little mother-son adventure by ourselves, I was not surprised that you were game.
And I just love that about you.
That you are game.
I think we’re going to take a bus.
I think we’re going to stay in hostels.
What do you think about going to this classical musical concert in the big cathedral in Constance?
Pretty much any food?
You are a wonderful travel partner. You make everything more fun by being enthusiastic.
It’s unusual for you to complain. You’re super flexible. You can walk for ages and carry the heavy stuff, and if we happen to find ourselves in the woods after the sun sets or in a dark part of town, I kind of appreciate that all of a sudden you are becoming a young man, a fact I usually lament.
Thank you for going with me to this new place. For walking all over Constance and Meersburg and Lindau.
For sitting in the sun and reading together.
For long talks about language and living in Germany.
For longer walks along the lake and through the woods.
For sitting through a concert that was not so interesting to you.
For riding the ferry and looking for coffee shops.
For being willing to eat in restaurants and hostel kitchens and on park benches.
For all the ways you make life fun and point out the beauty of the world.
I love seeing it through your eyes.
And I’m grateful for many more days ahead of sharing new experiences with you.
I’m grateful that you are still with us. And that we are getting days together that are different from ones we have had before, because it is so often just the two of us, carrying apples and milk, stomping through the woods or exploring yet another Christmas market.
Thank you for being willing to say “Yes,” and for how you are teaching me to say it too.
Yes, you can build a gingerbread house.
Yes, you can play that game.
Yes, you can put that candle out with your fingers.
Yes, you can put that punch in the grocery basket.
Yes, you can order the pastry that is as big as your head.
Yes, we can stop and sit for a while.
Love you so much.
A few details in case you want to go to Lake Constance. We stayed in Constance/Konstanz at the most darling little hostel called Glückseeligkeit which translates to “bliss.” They only have five rooms but one is a family room and there is a fully stocked kitchen and living room/lounge for meals and such. Ben and I stayed in the attic room that had its own balcony and view of Konstanz. This hostel did not sponsor our trip in any way, but we loved it so I thought I would mention it. (In fact, we stayed in another hostel in Lindau that we did not like at all so we wished we’d spent one more night in ‘bliss.’) We spent three nights in the area and wandered around the towns of Konstanz, Meersburg and Lindau. At the end of October when we made this trip, it felt like much of the activity around the lake was closed up for the season. I think it would be fun to go when it is a bit warmer and bike at least part of the cycle path that goes all the way around Lake Constance (and covers three countries!) MacsAdventure has this tour available as one of their Germany adventures if you’re looking for a biking adventure in Germany. If you happen to go to Konstanz, a little coffee shop called elf (“eleven” in German) serves up the best coffee I’ve had so far in Germany, but unfortunately they don’t open until 11.