Living the Country Squire Life

 November 23, 2011

Today we are loading into the car and heading east to my sister’s house for Thanksgiving. 
Man nothing says suburban family holiday like a Sears car top carrier and fries on the floor from the half dozen pit stops at McDonald's.
Are we there yet?
As painful as these trips can be (and OMG they ARE) they also evoke a certain nostalgia for my own childhood family “vacations”.

pretty sick ride, eh?

…the wood paneled Country Squire station wagon, Casey Kasem’s American Top Forty on the radio, windows ROLLED down and watching the world go by…backwards from the “way back” rear facing folding seat.
Let the good times roll….
Of course when I describe this to my kids they seem confused and slightly horrified.  Completely missing the retro 70’s charm of it all one of them suggests reporting Gram-ma & Gram-pa to Children's Services.
Whaaaaat?  No videos?  No ipod?  No cell phone?  No PS3?
Umm no my darlings.  None.
We had the license plate game.
Try playing the License Plate game from this death trap of a me on this, front plates in the late 70's, not so much.
I ask them if they think it would be fun to NOT bring all the electronics....a screen free trip with lots of live and in person games and songs and telling of jokes.
If a four year old could say "what the F?"...right about then is when it would have happened. 

My kids cannot imagine traveling without electronics.  And while I’ll admit my husband and I take along a fair share of our own gadgetry we can at least conceive of another reality. 
My boys would sooner skip packing underwear than not take video games on vacation.
It’s like food and air to them…Compatible with life.
I thought about forcing the issue... going all Brady-Bunch-time-warp on them and making them leave the electronics behind.  I visualized the rousing games of car bingo and singing “Row Your Boat” in a three part round. 
In the end I couldn't do it because the truth is the electronic dome of silence created when they put on those headphones makes travel a whole lot easier on them and me

If having my kids "plug in" instead of playing 6 hours of “I Spy” and “The Alphabet Game” means I don’t have to deal with;
Are we there yet? (x10 x# of kids in the car x every 2 miles)
Alternating with “How much longer?” (same multiple)
And “He’s touching me!”
And his cousin….”He’s looking at me!”
Or refereeing a round of Punch Buggy turned Punch your little brother for no  reason Buggy.  
Or saves me from climbing over the seat one less time...

Well then with apologies to Carol Brady (perfect 70's mom of six and likely license plate game champion), I’m willing to accept it…for 6 hours anyway.

Though we could still work in some singing.

Travel safely my friends and a very Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
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