Just along for the ride.
Taking a road trip with one of your kids is an opportunity you should always take advantage of. I am not saying it is easy to get the time to make it happen or necessarily a flawless, near perfect experience. However, when you have the chance to do it, you ought to. Recently I traveled a solid 700 plus miles in the car with my son. I prepared for the sojourn by buying countless snacks. I didn't go particularly heavy on the beverages as oftentimes liquid overload leads to lots of stops which leads to frustration from both the driver and the passenger. I guess selfishly I purchased the snacks that I am personally most fond of. Wouldn't you think on some level your own child would embrace the same delectable treats that you do? Well as it turns out time away from one another has left us less familiar with each others likes and dislikes. Snacks included.
As a 26 year old male my son has a great deal of energy, lots of interesting opinions and is very chatty. A great traveling companion on every level. He does however feel the need to tell me how to drive when I take the wheel. I casually remind him that I have had my drivers license for an excess of 40 years but somehow this means nothing to him as he is convinced I am near incapable of the task. Very early along on the trip I am told that several of my chosen snacks should not be consumed by the driver as they are too cumbersome and awkward to eat. Who knew? More chicken wings for me.
Not all road trippers would agree but personally I am a big fan of stoppage along the way. Let me be clear. I am not referring to a drive thru visit. I mean the get out of the car and take in the scenery type of stop. My husband jokes that if there is ever something as fascinating to see as the worlds largest ball of mud or biggest rubber band ball I happily suspend all motion. To some degree that is true. Never quite sure when you may get back to some of these extraordinary places. My son is not convinced.
Selecting a radio station or podcast is easy. So much conversation can be stimulated by listening to a personal story or news program. Fascinating to see how your child’s viewpoints and beliefs have been influenced by their education, work experience or even the cities they have lived in or visited. Hard to even recollect the time when as a parent I pretty much single handedly shaped his mindset.
I consider myself lucky to occasionally have a chance to spend time with my son in the car. Reacquainting ourselves with one another I am reminded of how proud I am of who this dear child has become. Unfortunately my lower back and legs have not faired this reunion very well. When exiting the vehicle I am struggling to stand upright. I literally drag my hunched over, caveman style self into the house and head right to my Fishbellie stash. This extended time on the road demands the big boy. In just a few minutes time I feel immediate relief. Another successful interstate experience has come to an end. I am thankful that with the help of a Fishbellie microwave heating pad, I CAN go the distance.
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