We took a road trip over the weekend, which are two words that often strike resound agony in any parent of a young child. Road. Trip. Anytime you spend several hours in a confined space with little ones locked in their car seats, there is the potential recipe for disaster.
This trip wasn't the worst we've ever had. With four kids ages three, four, seven and eight, we were on the road for about four or five hours. It didn't take too long though before we heard the grumblings of, "Mooommy, I'm BORED!" and "Daaaddy, how much LONGER?" My husband and I both looked at each other in utter disbelief as we heard this coming from a car full of kids with every type of electronics surrounding them. That's when it happened.
I don't know where it came from, or how the words came out of our mouths, but my husband and I both said, "When WE were your age, we didn't HAVE the things you have. There WERE no DVDs or video games. We had to make up our own fun." We both stopped almost in mid-sentence and immediately realized that we sounded JUST like our parents. We gave each other quick glances with surprised smirks on our faces. It was true, though. Kids these days have everything known to man and they're BORED?! (I digress.) We went on to tell the kids how we had to make up different car games when we traveled. We taught them how to play "Car Bingo" and how to find every letter of the alphabet on license plates and road signs. Our younger two even tried to count the cars that passed by. Our three year old little girl kept saying, "seven, eight, nine, ten, a lemon, twelve..." As the three older boys began to tease her, they each giggled out "A LEMON?! Mommy! She's saying, 'A Lemon!'" Out of nowhere, our "parents" suddenly entered the car again. "Guys, let her count and don't tease," I heard my Mother say through me. Adam shot a smile at me this time and shook his head.
I guess it's inevitable. The car trip was a good lesson that made us realize that our parents raised us and will come through us as we do the same. Being in the car with our little ones was a strong reminder of that. I will have to say though, it really was nice to turn the devices off and be together as a family. In a lemon years from now, these will definitely be the times we'll remember.