“North or South?”
Today my friend posted “North or South?”. I knew what that meant; it meant that she was getting ready to grab her son, get in the car, go on a road trip and enjoy the day. Jealousy started to creep into my heart. My friend and I are at different stages of our parenting adventure. My daughter is grown, her son is still a young boy. It is a joy and a pleasure to see my friend and her son enjoying his childhood. It reminds me of when my daughter was small and we, too, would jump in the car on our way to another adventure. I miss those times. It reminds me of when I was a child and my family would save vacation money by taking road trips. I miss those road trips, even though my sister often got carsick, which dampened the pleasure just a bit but made for great teasing later.
Please note in the picture above how my mother would sew matching dresses for my sisters and me. Sympathy cards are appreciated.
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Road trips make lasting memories and bond us together.
When I was a child we often went on a road trip, my parents would pile us all in the car and go. When I say, “pile in the car” I mean that literally, this was before the days of child car seats and mandatory seatbelts. My brother and I often took the back of the station wagon and made up games to play involving unwitting cars passing by on their own road trip. The drive itself was sometimes torturous, involving a father who drove too fast, terrifying my other sister, the smell of old vomit from the carsick sister and my brother and I squirming because my father was in too much of a hurry to stop for bathroom breaks. But the destination was always worth the trip and the memories, good and bad, are lasting a lifetime.
Road Trips with the Kids Don’t Need to be Complicated
When my daughter was younger, I would pile her in the car (it was a small pile since she is an only child) and go on our own road trip. It did not matter where we went, whether it was to a museum, to another town or to spend the day at the beach.
Road Trips Bond Us Together and Foster Relationships
The destination was never the most important thing, the time spent together was the real destination. I used to call those moments “time out of time”. They were the moments when the rest of the world fell away when all that mattered was who we were with and having fun. There were no hard and fast rules to those road trips. If we passed a place that looked interesting, we stopped. If we felt like having a picnic, we did. Driving home from a road trip in a rain storm one time, my daughter said that she felt like dancing in the rain, so we stopped and danced.
My daughter is older now. I am fortunate that she will still take road trips with me. But it is not the same. Our road trips usually include more restaurants than picnics, more manicures than rain dances.
Road Trips can also “grow up” & Become More Sophisticated
Her own road trips have become more sophisticated, involving planes and travels to far away places. Dancing in the rain with other people. And that makes me happy, too.
Now, I pile in the car with my husband to enjoy our own road trips. It reminds me of a time before children, a time of romance and adventure and that makes me happy.
But today, today I am jealous of my friend, jealous that she gets her own road trip to make more memories with her child.
Thank goodness for grandchildren
Tips to Help You Get the Most Out of Your Road Trip
- Decide what type of road trip you want. Do you want a scenic route or a destination trip?
- Keep in mind the ages and interests of the children. Plan for a lot of family-friendly stops.
- Be sure to pack everything you may need!
- Be prepared with plenty of car friendly road trip activities.
- Use some of these road trip hacks.