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Road Trip

June 20, 2012

     Is there a road trip in your futute?  If so I hope you enjoy this past post reminding us about the true joys of travel.

     The family road trip, one more activity that has fallen prey to technology.  Every family knows the phrase, “Are we there yet?”  I’m sure the earliest pioneers heading over the vast prairie heard that phrase rising from the back of their covered wagon.  Those parents could never accurately answer since they really had no idea.  But I’m sure the pace of oxen was not a quick one and these parents would have enjoyed a lap top or DVD for distraction.  But just think about how much closer those intrepid families were after facing indians, stampedes, raging rivers, formidable mountains and endless hours of boredom together. 

     I can imagine little pioneer children heads peeking out of their covered wagon, “That cloud looks like an old cookstove,” “Oh, look at that one it looks just like a water pump.”  And of course I am sure it was fun to see who could find the most smoke signals before the next mountain range.

     When I was growing up, we sang songs like, “Found a Peanut”, and “She’ll be Comin Round the Mountain”.  We improved our alphabet skills by finding letters on bill boards and of course counted the license plates from different states.

     Fast forward to 2011.  Our vehicles are high-tech machines on wheels.  DVDs flip down from the ceiling or fill the back of head rests.  Outlets hide in every nook and cranny, so there is room to plug-in any device you desire.

     A parent today would rarely need to warn, “Don’t make me pull this car over!”, because each child is quiet and content attached by earphones to their own device of choice and they are clueless to the world around them.  No smoke signals to find, no cloud shapes to decipher, no songs to sing.

     It is time to unplug.  The time we spend together from point A to point B can be the actual beginning of the vacation.  It can be a time where your family begins the process of reconnecting.  Play some stupid games, have some conversations, identify some clouds, risk some boredom.  By the time you arrive at your destination, you may actually already have begun the unwinding process.  You may actually know what is going on in your child’s life.

     Is there a road trip on your horizon?  go ahead, pack the lap tops, games and DVDs, but set guidelines for their use.  The first hour of travel is a technology free hour.  allow the next two hours, kid’s choice.  The next hour then can be game time, you decide, but make sure you don’t lose this precious time to self-absorbed activity.

     Give it a try, you may just feel a little closer as a family, even though you may still hear, “Are we there yet?”

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Rosemary Pike permalink
    June 8, 2011 8:54 am

    I agree! We also have times when I read aloud from a book relevant to our destination. For example, we are going to Boston this Summer. I will read “Johnny Tremain.”

    • June 8, 2011 11:28 am

      We just finished a two day trip to Texas. We have been enjoying a CD of “Tom Sawyer” that I checked out from the library. I also checked out Huck Finn and “The Hobbit.” Thanks so much for your comment. Have a great trip!

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