As a kid I loved them. The highlight of the year was piling into the car for a 26-hour drive to Nebraska. Along the way we played games, read books, tried to sleep and found unique ways to get on each other’s nerves. It was the perfect formula for building memorable moments that are told and re-told for years.
Memories like the time my sister (about 5 years my junior) was three years old and a common, ordinary housefly decided to stow-away on the trip. as we entered about the seventeenth hour of the drive (about 3am) my father, hopped up on about every form of caffeine you can ingest is struggling to keep his weary eyes on the road. Mom and myself have drifted off to sleep. And then my sister discovers the fly. To the average person a fly is nothing to fear. A nuisance? Yes. Worthy of being on the business end of a rolled up newspaper? Absolutely! But something to be terrified of? No, unless you are a three-year old. To a three-year-old a common housefly is as fearsome as a fire-breathing dragon. Needless to say, when this unsuspecting fly alighted upon my sister, an ear-piercing scream of terror pierced the quiet atmosphere of the car. Mom jolted awake and I found my self clinging to the headliner. My father, nerves frayed from sleep deprivation, fought to keep the car on the road.
What ensued was a confused conversation that took the form of the following:
Dad: “What was that?!?”
Mom and I: “Angie screamed.”
Dad: “Dave, what did you do?!?”
Me: “I don’t know. I was asleep.”
Dad: “Well, don’t do it again!”
Me: “What? Sleep or make her scream?”
As you can tell, I was less than helpful. As for the winged culprit? He had disappeared for the moment. Ten minutes later, we get a repeat performance that would have made a B-Movie queen proud. This ensued for several rounds until we finally discovered the source of the commotion and rolled down the window to set the captive free.
What memories are you making for your family? Currently, I am in the van headed to Kentucky with 4 excited children, and they are laughing and playing and singing, and I have discovered that I still love road trips.