What I learned on family vacation

By: Darrin F. Coe, Ma

My wife, my two preschoolers, and I recently drove from Canon City, Colorado to Readstown, Wisconsin in a 4-door dodge neon. I’m happy to report my children are still alive. Believe it or not this was one of the most enjoyable times I’ve experienced in the past year. My family grew closer and I learned to experience joy in that most exasperating of questions, “Are we there yet?"

I learned that it is better to be creative than it is to be frustrated and angry. One of my boys would ask, “Are we there yet?"

I would answer, “Yes, but only in our existential and ethereal lives." Which bought about 10 minutes of silence as they tried to figure out what I’d just said. There was one point as we were approaching Onowa, Iowa on our return trip at which I found myself wanting to use every expletive I’d learned in my eight years as a correctional professional as well as wanting to try my hand at creating a few.

The boys were tired, loud, talkative, and only barely listening as I and my wife attempted to speak rationally to them about shutting their mouths..

So instead of blowing a diode and risking the safety of everyone in the car, I began to engage the boys in a question and answer session about what they loved about our vacation to date. Questions like, “Duncan, what three things did you like most about spending time with greatgrandpa Gayle?" Within minutes, both boys were chomping at the bit to answer the next question; I was back in control, and in the process learned a great deal about the loves, goals, and thought processes of a three and a five year old. It turned into one of the highlights of the trip.

I learned that creativity and patience provide much more joy and control than loud volume, and intimidation. I learned that our family has a lot of great things to share with each other if we take the time to get over being tired and allow even the youngest to have their say. I learned that I too, am not immune to threatening to “pull this car over, right now!" FinallyComputer Technology Articles, I learned it is imperative to pay attention when your son tells you he’s got a “yucky tummy" and feels like throwing up.

Family Vacations
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