Local moms choose trips and togetherness for family bucket list
FARGO-As moms and dads everywhere prep for graduation open houses, put together slideshows of the K-12 years and try to hold it all together, there's a nagging feeling: Did we do enough? Did we make the most of our time with our child while he or...
FARGO-As moms and dads everywhere prep for graduation open houses, put together slideshows of the K-12 years and try to hold it all together, there's a nagging feeling: Did we do enough? Did we make the most of our time with our child while he or she was under our roof? As we face sending our 18-year-olds off to college or the "real world," many parents are preparing family bucket lists. Most of the time we talk about individual bucket lists: traveling the world, skydiving or running a marathon. But some families are taking it further trying to figure out what things they'd like their families to do before their kids graduate from high school. It's something Missy Eidsness of Moorhead has thought about. She works for Moorhead Public Schools and is the mother to three, Tyler (19), Erin (18) and Joe (16). "It really hit me this year that Joe is the only one who rides in the car with me anymore. I really miss those junior high years where I'd drive them around and get to talk with them," she says. The Eidsness family, which also includes husband and father Rick, wanted to take a "bucket list" trip when Tyler was a senior at Moorhead High last year. But with both Tyler and Erin in three varsity sports a piece, they couldn't find seven days in a row when the kids could be gone. Later, when Erin tore her ACL and had to sit out much of her senior sports year, Eidsness insisted they get away as a family.
"Maybe it was more for me. I just wanted to cherish a little more time with my crew without outside distractions. I thought this might be the last trip with just our core family," she says. They chose Florida, where they went to Universal's Harry Potter World, Disney World and the beach. One of their favorite activities was getting to see the University of MInnesota Gophers in the Citrus Bowl. "We all loved that and decided we have to put that on our to-do list again." But it wasn't always easy, especially cramming five adult-sized people in a rental car and hotel suite. "I knew we'd argue, but I'd say to them between gritted teeth, 'We're going to get along!' " she says with a laugh. Lisa Sethre-Hofstad, associate dean of Concordia College and mom to two high schoolers-Dane, a senior, and Annika, a freshman-has been making a conscious effort to cross things off her family bucket list this year. "I guess our bucket list has included just finding new ways to spend time together. It's different as they get older. They're so busy, so we've made the effort to spend time together around their lives and activities," she says. That has meant the Sethre-Hofstad family, which also includes husband and father Steve, has made family trips out of Dane's trips with the Moorhead High golf team. They also recently took a family car trip to Jackson, Wyo. Neither kid was looking forward to the 15-hour car ride. "But the thing that's nice about Yellowstone is the cellphone coverage wasn't great, so we were forced to talk. After it was done, both Dane and Annika said, 'That wasn't that bad.' " When they can't get out of town, the Sethre-Hofstads at least try to get out of the kitchen. "We also discovered, almost by accident, that taking them out for a nice dinner is a great way to really connect as they get older. At home it's too easy for them to say, 'Call me when supper is ready.' When we take them to a nice restaurant it's basically captive time. We've had really nice discussions there," she says. In addition to the family trips and fancy dinners, her family bucket list includes a family photo shoot this summer, their first family photo since 2011. For the Eidsnesses, their future plans include another bucket list trip before Joe leaves for college. "We haven't decided where. Maybe an all-inclusive resort or a cruise," she says. They're starting to save for the trip, something Eidsness advises younger families to consider. She also has another piece of advice for younger families who are facing busy days when a family trip seems impossible. "I really regret we didn't just take that trip during Tyler's senior year. We should have just gone. Everyone is busy, but it's important to try and make these trips work. You can't get these years back." Bucket List suggestions "The Bucket List" idea gained popularity after the 2007 film starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson, in which two terminally ill men hit the road to do all of things they've always wanted to do before they "kick the bucket." Here are the 10 things to put on your family bucket list before your children leave your house. • See both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans • Do something active together (run a race, ride a roller coaster, climb a mountain, etc.) • Watch a sunrise together • Cook a holiday meal together • Sleep out under the stars • Do Disney • Dine at the fanciest restaurant in town • Take a professional family photo • Do volunteer work together/serve others (church projects, Habitat for Humanity, working at a food pantry/homeless shelter) • Take a car trip that lasts at least one day