road trip

A few weeks back, I got offered a free night’s stay at a family resort called Great Wolf Lodge.  Which is in Dallas.  Which is 5 hours from where we live.  And part of the offer was a brand-new Chevy to borrow for the drive up.

And I’m not really a big vacationer.  We go to visit family every summer, but we don’t usually take vacations just for fun.  I guess we have enough fun around our own house that we don’t usually go seeking it out.

But once the offer was out there, I got to thinking that my kids would probably really, really love it.   And so I just went ahead and said yes.

So, on Saturday, we drove up to Dallas.   And, after snagging a photo of my toes, I gave my kids our snapshot camera to take photos of the trip.  When I got the camera back, I had about a hundred pictures of the car floor, the kids’ sneakers, and the back of my head.  But mixed in among them were a few beauties:

And the kids did really, really love the trip.  And it made me so happy to see them so happy.  And taking a family vacation like that–just the four of us, mom and dad in the front seat and kids in the back with crayons–felt like another official stamp in the parent passport.  I really am a grown-up now. I’ve made it around to the other side of the circle.  Whatever I saw when I looked at the back of my mother’s head from the back seat of our station wagon, my kids now see when they look at me.  Whatever she meant to me then I now mean to someone else.  Which is a tremendous and terrifying honor, when I stop to think about it.  And also, more than anything, a blessing.

10 Comments

Filed under crazy personal stuff, news!, visual art

10 responses to “road trip

  1. This post gave me a kick. We’re taking our kids to one in VA later this week as a family de-stresser. (My husband just got a job after 8 months of unemployment.) The kids deserve it for putting up with some very stressed mommies and daddies.

    I’m so glad to hear you had a good time! Thanks for the post.

  2. eap

    I have such happy memories of family roadtrips. A trip to Dallas sounds fun… perhaps it’s time to plan one. Thanks for the reminder!

  3. Mary Harper

    So how did the kids like the resort? Spending the night in a hotel must have been fun for them. Sounds like the car ride wasn’t too painful. Loved your post. Made me feel a little bittersweet. My blind parents didn’t drive, of course, and we rarely went anywhere by car until my sister turned 16. I was six when she got her license. How trusting my parents must have been to ride in the car and not be able to watch for hazards. But I do remember seeing the back of my mother’s head.

  4. detes

    I remember both the back seat and the front. Each has it’s own pleasures (and problems). I love road trips and glad you enjoyed yours.

  5. Deb

    We did a family vacation every summer, always to Colorado or Yellowstone. Yes, in the minivan! With three kids and two golden retrievers.
    And due to me being a stay at home mom, we usually camped or stayed in a tiny cabin! I remember fun, hiking, playing cards, mini golf but I think my husband remembers loading and unloading the car with all our stuff and usually a stroller and a packpack to carry a toddler on hikes.
    When I went back to work when all were in school, we could afford nicer cabins at the YMCA of the Rockies.
    Those are great family memories now.

  6. Although I’m in no rush, this post makes me look forward to the days when my boys are just a little bit older… I often think about how fun family vacations will be.

  7. i love seeing through the child’s camera. these images are great!

    roadtrips when i was little were all tunafish in pita bread. your talk of the back of your mother’s head stirred some great memories for me that go along with watching skyscrapers from the hatchback of the datsun while driving through NYC.

    thank you for this.

  8. Mag

    Oh, how much more fun the backseat would have been on a family trip if my mom had shared her camera! Sounds like a good time!

  9. We’re about to hit the road ourselves…Nashville! Every family needs a road trip now and again. I’m thinking about making a road trip mix (music, that is)! Any tunes I need to include?

  10. OMG. I LOVE that last paragraph!

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