I am unique among my friends for many reasons, but the most obvious is this: I simply adore hitting the open road with my kids. For most adults, a car jam-packed with a handful of energetic kids is the stuff of nightmares. The mere thought of squeezing into an SUV with highly charged kids as your companions for half the day or more has at times, I’m sure, been a most successful form of birth control.
I am, however, the exception to this rule of parental paranoia. Part of it is likely due to the fact that my kids are no longer toddlers. They are able to sit still for extended periods of time without whooping and/or hollering, which makes things a whole lot more bearable. I do not long for the days of hysterical babies and whiny toddlers causing unplanned – and unwanted – detours on already lengthy trips.
No, those days are over. Nowadays, road trips with my family are not just something to endure; they have become a source of utter joy and excitement. While I am keen on the sedative wonders of modern technology (three cheers for iPods, Kindles, and, of course, headphones!), I most enjoy the time we spend talking to each other. Whether it is a detailed discussion on something that is going on in the world today, a simple check-in to see how my kids are doing, or a passionate debate on the merits of Taylor Swift, I genuinely like hearing the sound of my kids’ voices.
The non-stop madness of daily life in our house often makes it difficult to engage with my children in this manner, so I am grateful for opportunities such as road trips. Avoiding each other is not an option, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am well aware that there will be a time when making long voyages to see family and friends will be a solo activity. Contrary to the opinion of some adults, that will certainly be a much less enjoyable experience.
Stay tuned for my next post, in which I’ll discuss some of my (and my kids’) favorite music for day-tripping.