Do you remember the days when you would just get in your car, pick a direction and drive? When you didn't really have a destination in mind, you just wanted to go and see where the road took you? Stopped when you got hungry or saw a great opportunity for a photo? Yeah, me too.
It's funny how life tends to change while you aren't looking and the next thing you know, going for a drive is close to cruel and unusual punishment - because it's not just you anymore. It's you and your little one (or little ones). And you now have to take into consideration potential potty stops, places to stop and eat (where your little one won't turn up their nose at everything on the menu), places to take a photo (as proof that you did actually go somewhere that wasn't Chuck E Cheese) and how long you can actually drive in one direction taking into consideration that there is potential for your little one to melt down if they are in the car for too long....
Spontaneity kind of goes out the window, doesn't it?
Well, today I was determined to do just that. Little P has been really sick since Friday last week (poor munchkin has bronchitis) and has been pretty much house bound since then (with a couple of little breaks but nothing like our usual schedule), and my days since Friday have been nuts - I haven't stopped. Between hosting parties for friends, taking Little P to the doctor, filming a Walmart commercial (yup, I got my 30 seconds of fame), dinner with friends and interviews it's been kind of a whirlwind. So this morning, when Little P started to get fussy, I decided it was time to just drive. Hang it all. Let's just go. And that's exactly what we did.
I did of course prepare myself - plenty of water, diapers, wipes, snacks and toys for Little P, and a big all cup of coffee for me - but other than that there wasn't much more planning. I put Little P in the car, pointed it in one direction and just drove. And Little P was all for it.
We drove around neighborhoods we had never been to before. Stopped at a couple of parks we didn't know about (and will probably never find again) took a different route to a favorite place and just kind of 'winged it'. If we got stuck behind traffic, Little P would be shouting 'Move!'. If we drove past school buses, she'd get all excited and yell 'Big bus!'. We saw trucks of every color, lots of motor bikes (vroom, vroom) and plenty of kids getting ready to go to school. We went on swings and slides, talked to a group of older people doing laps around a park and really just had a good time. And it didn't cost me a thing (other than gas).
It made for a memorable morning - and reminded me that sometimes all you really need is the willingness to just 'drive'. You don't need to go to anywhere fancy. You don't need to spend a crazy amount of money. You just need to pick a direction and go.
Till next time, wind the windows down, turn the music up and just go. Who knows, maybe a great adventure is just out there waiting for you...