Friday, July 14, 2017

The Blessings of a 12 hour Car Ride

The title may be strange- but true.

We have endured many a long car ride together as a family, first as a young couple, then with a small child.  It can sometimes be very hard.  It can sometimes be challenging.  It's always humbling when the 4 year old is more patient with traffic than my husband or me.

The Blessings of a long car ride:

1) It's a great time to talk with your spouse.  It's really kind of funny, but the most fruitful, serious and life-changing discussions my husband and I have are normally on long car rides.  We can do our financial planning, scheduling and overall philosophical discussions when we are present to each other for a long time with no other distractions than the road (it especially helps that we have a data plan that makes internet surfing limited on these drives).

2) You get to listen to things you would never listen to otherwise.  The boredom of a long ride makes you creative with what you will listen to.  Books on tape, new radio stations and even a kids science podcast whose title is "The Velocity of Poop."  Yes, I'm not lying and it was actually based on a scientific study.  This last trip my son discovered the "Wow in The World" podcast by NPR and he loves it.  My husband and I actually learn too (when we are not completely grossed out).

3) Life lessons can become obvious.  On a recent trip, it was hot and we had to stop at a McDonalds for a restroom stop.  I decided to treat my son to an ice cream cone.  Then I heard his tantrums and screaming in the bathroom.  He came out and was being completely unreasonable and a not very nice "Human under construction".  I gave his ice cream cone to a little girl with her father waiting for their food.  They were maybe slightly confused by what was happening and my son was very upset.   On the very long trip back, my son asked if we could stop at McDonalds, he then repeated, unprompted, "I'm not going to be a fool this time and do something to lose my ice cream cone".  I'm more appeasing to my son on an airplane ride because there are innocent people on the plane, but when we are taking a car ride, unless my son has good reason for his grumpiness (lack of sleep, discomfort or hunger) my husband and I are not pushovers.

4) You get to laugh at billboards, political differences of regions and how every state has its "Driving vices".  It almost becomes a game for my husband and I to identify the license plate by identifying the bad driving habit first.  I could say what each of the state's habits are, but that could possibly be offensive.  I will let you guess.

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