Taking Road Trips with Our Children
My dad loved to stop at cemeteries and not just the military cemeteries, but all cemeteries. He loved to check out the headstones and especially the older ones; he liked to find the oldest ones in the cemetery. I really do not know why he had such a fascination but it never failed that when we were on a road trip he would hit just about every cemetery we came across. But in doing so we also got a break from driving and got to stretch our legs and usually found other interesting points of interest as well in some of those small towns we ended up in.
There were tons of roadside attractions back in the day, lots of “world’s largest” things to see and we were up for all of them. Dad and mom were also big on stopping at mom and pop diners and small farms that sold fresh honey, farm fresh eggs, and fresh fruits and vegetables. I can still remember tasting the fresh tomatoes, which is one of my personal favorites, and I still stop at those road side stands today hoping to taste something that resembles the ones we found back then.
There is just something about riding along in the car with your family that brings us closer together. For one thing you are in very close proximity to each and every one of your family members and you cannot get away! This makes for bonding time. I was the middle child and the congenial child out of three children so therefore I became the buffer between the other two. As I look back it makes me smile but at the time I was not real fond of being the buffer, not in the least. And when things got real bad between us dad would reach around with his long arm trying to hit anything that got in his way. That was usually me because I did not duck in time. Why should I? I was the innocent one, at least most of the time.
Mom would supply us with coloring books, comics, and mini board games because there were no video games, car video players, or cell phones. That made it even more imperative that we entertain each other. We would actually look out the windows and see the sights of small town America which was really interesting when you came from a large town like we did. We would talk about the sights as we drove along and play games like I Spy.
My dad was a fishing nut so we would often meet other family members somewhere that reportedly had great fishing. We would stay in cabins near the lake and all the cousins would be there to keep us entertained. Sometimes, however, we got stuck with just dad, who though he loved fishing was not a very good fisherman. We would row out in the lake and sit for hours, I am not kidding, I mean hours! Even when a storm would come upon us suddenly dad did not quit, mom would put us under the seats with raincoats over us and dad would fish as if nothing was happening.
I have so many memories, good and not so good, of times we went on road trips with mom and dad. As I have gotten older and had my own children I have had the experience of taking trips via plane and some road trips as well and I can say without hesitation that the trips we have taken in the car were by far the more bonding. There is just something about driving along in the car with your entire family that makes the time spent so much more special. Singing songs, telling stories, seeing the sights, laughing at each others jokes, and eating meals in the car really make for some great memories.
Stephanie has many years of experience as a nanny. She has always loved children and has continuously been involved in childcare activities. Currently she is one of the writers for houstonnanny.com. If you want to get in touch with her, you can email her at stephanie. Houstonnanny @ gmail. com.