Road trips are an American thing. Even as I wrote that I could see all my European friends shaking their heads and formulating appropriate arguments to prove me wrong. Be that as it may, I stand by the first statement. Road trips are quintessentially American. For one thing we're an enormous country and for the second, we've got a lot of roads.
Over the Fourth of July weekend my family decided to do the American thing and take a little road trip. We went to a local resort called Sunriver, or as my husband and children refer to it, 'Funriver'.
Funriver is a four hour drive from Portland. When the kids were younger the prospect of four hours in the car would have filled me with terror. I would have packed snacks, crayons, puppets, musical sing-a-long cds, books (both in print and on cd), flash cards, more snacks and multiple packages of wet wipes. But never, ever, not under any circumstances would I have packed anything like a movie or a video game. That's right. I was that kind of mom!
In the intervening years, all three of them, I've loosened up a bit. Now that they are six (almost seven) and nine I pack just one thing. Yep, that's right. Somewhere along the line flash cards and sing-a-long cds gave way to Nintendo DS fully stocked with Mario Carts and the Harry Potter Lego game. Good intentions, why did you forsake me??
Maybe it's more accurate to say I traded in the good intentions as soon as I discovered movies and Nintendo DS make it possible for me and my husband to have long uninterrupted conversations in the car. Sometimes the kids are so fully occupied that we can finish our long conversations and then lapse into companionable silence. Do you know how often that happens in my household? Almost NEVER!
Usually just at the moment when I start to feel guilt-wracked for letting them have two solid hours of DS time Child # 1 will fire up the recording device function and begin recording her favorite phrase which goes a little something like this:
"I'm SNAPE and I always poop in my pants and I have no friends because I smell like broccoli. Wait! Let me go, just before I poop in my pants."
Anyone care to wager how many times she recorded that, played it back at varying speeds and volumes and then re-recorded it?
I lost count somewhere around three hundred, which was right about the same time that I broke out the Tinkerbell DS game. Did I feel a twinge of guilt? No, I did not. Guilt is over-rated and silence,as it turns out, is golden!