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Friday, April 12, 2013

Are We There Yet?

Are We There Yet?
Do you enjoy driving long distances!  Once upon a time I enjoyed making the trip between Southern California and the Northwest (we are talking 20 plus hours one way to visit relatives).  I am a glutton for punishment but not extreme, I always stay at a hotel one night whenever the drive is more than 12 hours.  After all, even professional truck drivers are required to limit their hours on the road without rest.  Driving for me was never about rushing between point A and point B, it was always about the leisurely enjoyment, and the scenery.  Being able to stop to fuel the vehicle, and stretching my legs every once in a while, enjoy a meal at the fine truck stops and meeting colorful characters that you can meet at a truck stop diner.
As I grew older and during the time I spent working on my career, I averaged between two thousand and three thousand miles per month over many years (while on the job).  That grueling schedule, can dampen your driving enjoyment.  There is always a silver lining to every negative.  The many miles traveled in the performance of my job’s duties allowed me to clear my head, and even plan my strategy for meetings where I would be leading the conversations.  My driving time even became useful after the cell telephone became affordable, because I could spend the driving time talking to my wife and or children.
It seems that one of the most common and repetitive things that happen when traveling with children, is that at least one out of every family, will constantly ask the question; “Are We There Yet.” With all my children being grown up, and a number of my grandchildren past the stage of traveling with me by car, I thought I had survived it without occurrence.
In the last 6 months I noticed that my 4 year old granddaughter no sooner gets in the car, then she starts; “Are We There Yet?”  It’s probably not as bad as I make it sound, but it seems like every two minutes.  For the longest time I handled it like an adult normally would by repeating as necessary not yet, every time.  As you get to know me you would realize that I am hatching a plan in my mind for dealing with it.
The answer was so easy that I can’t figure out why I didn’t think of it sooner.  I would recommend that you try it also if the need arises (I won’t patent it so everyone can use it).  When the question first comes up; “Are We There Yet?”  My response is yes we are.  She looks out the window and sees that we are still moving or doesn’t recognize our destination, and she immediately answers no we are not grandpa stop saying that.  End of conversation until we actually arrive, and then she usually says, ok we are there.
I try to learn something new every day, and it’s so easy to learn from small children because they haven’t yet learned to accept no as definitive.  For many years to come they will continue to learn to think outside the box.  Then of course one day the system or society will clamp down on their minds and discourage them from being positive in the face of resistance.  I will influence my family for as long as I am able, but I will never impose my beliefs on them (just continuing to lead by example).  The best is yet to come….

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