We recently took a short road trip to see a friend who was visiting from Michigan. Of course, the word “short” is relative. One hour in the car with four kids can seem like an eternity.
We happen to have reached the stage (ages 9-14) where most of the children are involved in their personal electronics so there isn’t much noise, until the occasional argument breaks out about how someone’s mp3 player is too loud or how someone is in someone else’s space. Oh well.
I remember a trip years ago when we thought we would “drive through the night”. We had three children then, ages 1, 2 and 4. They all cried for hours because they were tired and by the time we stopped at the hotel, we were absolutely bananas. Needless to say–we never tried THAT again.
Well, actually we did. Last fall we took a spontaneous trip to the beach, which happens to be 7 hours away. We arrived around midnight and realized too late that rooms on the beach are hard to come by. After contemplating sleeping in the van, we finally found a place around 1 a.m., and as we trudged up the stairs with our luggage I thought for a minute that we had made a mistake.
Even though it was late, we took a trip to the 24 hour Walmart in search of the flashlights and towels we had forgotten to pack. We walked on the beach together at 2:00 a.m. and finally went to sleep around 3:00 a.m. It sounds crazy, I know, but we had such a great time doing something out of the ordinary.
As wild as these road trips are, I am so glad that we take them. The extra money we spent on flashlights, gas and towels are of little consequence now. They are a small price to pay for the great conversations we have about our little adventures.
Good memories are what bond families together after all, and we’ve got some good glue.