When you have young kids like we do, there is one piece of advice that you get more often than almost anything else “Enjoy this time, it goes so fast!” And in a world like this where you work 6 days a week, are in clubs, go to church on Sundays, have family to visit, chores to do and still try to maintain some semblance of a social life it is often easy to let family time slip by the wayside. There are lots of posts out there about ways to carve out time to focus on your family or to be more efficient. (I’m currently writing this at 5 AM before the kids wake up, so that I can head to an old friend’s house for coffee before I have to go to work this morning.) While there is a lot of great advice out there, the one thing that most of it has in common is that it often lacks simple things that you can do that don’t cost much in the way of time or money. Sunday Driving is different.
Sure, driving your car will cost you a bit of gas money, and an outing will cost you a bit of time. But unlike a lot of other things you could do with your boys it doesn’t involve buying a bunch of pieces, you don’t have to master any sort of rule book, and there aren’t any membership dues or fees that you have to pay to have a great time. It’s just a man and his family on the free and open road. Several months back, when we were itching to go on a Sunday drive but we just didn’t have time, we just hopped in the car and left. We didn’t even go far, I think we were within 15 minutes of where I work, which was helpful because I needed to be there by 9 AM. We drove along a small winding back road enjoying the scene of old river towns and expensive mansions overlooking the bluffs when suddenly we came to a new park that we had never before seen.
If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you are aware of how much our boys love a good park. And if it has a slide… all the better. The park we had found was massive featuring easy walking trails, several playgrounds for children of various sizes. Picnic pavilions and perhaps the most fun of all this massive old tree perfect for climbing in and out of its hollow center. Clarence talked about it for weeks. (In fact when Kezia puts the pictures in this post, it is possible that he will start talking about it all over again after he sees it.) It’s moments like that, that make you realize that family time really is the most important. The delighted look of children when you find a new park, share an ice cream cone, or point out some unique bit of architecture on the side of the road makes it all worth it.
So here are 3 ways that you can spend time with your family right from your car
1. Do a barn quilt trail
Barn quilts are becoming popular throughout the country and the proud owners of these barns often have gotten together to list their properties on a map so that people can drive through the country appreciating the beautiful landscape and maybe get to meet some farmers. We enjoyed one of Missouri’s several quilt barn trails even on a rainy day and we still talk about it as one of the best days ever.
2. Find a new park
There are parks literally everywhere. On the way up too Idaho last November they were life-savers. After a few hours of driving, sometimes the kids just need to get out and stretch their legs. Especially if your kids are young; going to a new park can create memories that you won’t soon forget. The delight of a child who found a new slide is an image that sticks with me even on the toughest days at work.
3. Do a car wash
So this one isn’t exactly a Sunday Drive technique. But when you go down as many “bumpy roads” as we do, you’re car is going to get pretty messy. So why not come home, get everyone in their swim suits and soap up the car. I don’t know a single kid who doesn’t like playing with the hose. You’re going to have a total blast and you’re going to be getting something important done.
Those are just my three ideas for getting the most family time out of a Sunday Drive. What about you, what are some of your favorite ways to spend time with your family when all you have is a car? Tell us about it in the comments.