Last week, our family took a road trip for one week during the boys’ summer vacation. We travelled 1900 miles in total to the Redwoods where we planned to do some hiking! Needless to say, I was apprehensive about my two boys, one of whom is not patient….at all, and the other, who enjoys needling his older sibling! The prospect of having both of them in the backseat, alternately yelling, “Are we there yet?!”, “Big A hit me!!”, and “I need to use the restroom!” every 10 minutes was daunting! And, when I use ‘daunting’, I actually mean to use another word, but this being a family blog, I try to keep it clean!
However, I was in for a big surprise…of the good, even great, kind! Here are 7 things that I learnt about my kids during our road trip!
1. My kids do know a life outside video games and Netflix TV shows! We did have the DVD player going on in the car part of the time, but they actually looked out the window during the ride and pointed out interesting things! And, during our stay at the Redwoods, there was no demands for their usual TV shows – they were just too busy having fun exploring!
2. My kids love Nature! As evidenced by the collection of rocks, sticks, leaves and half-smashed berries they’ve lovingly brought back as mementos!
3. My kids love trekking! We went through several easy and moderate trails and they enjoyed it every step of the way! My older one is more sure-footed and it was a pleasure to see him giving a hand to his younger brother, who rapidly gained confidence and then went all out leaping and climbing all the way after that!
4. My older kid actually has a great memory for corny jokes! Big A regaled us with his stock of Big Nate and Calvin and Hobbes stories, and he also got additional stock from his granddad!
5. My younger kid helps my older kid realize that he shouldn’t take himself too seriously! By the simple virtue of continually teasing and goading his older sibling, Little a has managed to make Big A achieve that state of philosophical resignation about the fact that he, Big A, is stuck with him so he might as well do the best he can instead of erupting into a gooey mass of agitation every 5 minutes! My ‘angry young man’ seems to have finally achieved an air of good humored tolerance, which I hope will stand him in good stead later on!
6. I discovered that my younger kid is deeply interested in knowing the how, what, and why everything works! Similar to my older one, I had fun discussing with him how a tree grows from a seed, what bees do when they sit on flowers, and what possible function a banana slug has in polite society (pure guesswork this one!!)
7. Finally, I realized that my two boys are actually pretty fond of each other! It was pretty surprising to discover this given how, at the end of each day, I am usually greeted with a list of complaints about the other peppered with wails and teeth-gnashing, but somehow, in the close confines of the backseat, they seem to have reached a compromise and most of the trip went by listening to their whispers, giggle, raspberries, snorts and farts (well, you gotta take the bad with the good, right?!!)
I think we’ll be doing another road trip soon! In fact, I’m really looking forward to it now.
….which could only mean that the next one might just prove disastrous! Ha!
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