At 9 PM Central on Thursday, Oct. 29, the Steely Family embarked on an ambitious adventure that most parents dare not even mention. What am I talking about? The Family Road Trip.
So far, the trip has been pretty eventful, complete with overnight stays in Wal-Mart parking lots and dances with crazy drivers. During one stretch through Kansas, we were greeted with a noisome odor. Being that we were in rural Kansas, I assumed it was produced by bovine manure. However, this particular scent had that distinctive “human” quality. I took a quick peek in the backseat at Steely Daughter and was stricken by absolute fear at the site of my beautiful daughter covered in poop after having a colossal blowout! She had it all over her hands so this emergency required swift, evasive and direct intervention. Needless to say, we will be one pair of pants short on our return trip.
This incident, along with some others, required me to take pause and ask the question: why do (sane) people go on road trips? More specifically, why do parents go on road trips with their kids? This trip has been different from all previous road trips. What happened to the romance of the road I recall, the road I knew intimately when Steely Wife and I camped across this great nation for our honeymoon (we subsequently enjoyed an Alaskan cruise but our camping adventure was our REAL honeymoon). The road I engage today is a distant relative of the one I once knew. The victim of an evolutionary defect that robbed it of its soul? Perhaps. Or perhaps it is me who had undergone the metamorphosis. Perhaps my psyche no longer requires the challenge of rugged survival on the road, but instead relishes in the creature comforts of the Four Seasons (or even the Sleazy 8, which is just as good as the Four Seasons after a sleepless night in a Wal-Mart parking lot).
The reason we go on road trips is for the opportunity such adventures provide for self-introspection and self-discovery. On the road, our souls are baptized by the wind and the endless stretch of asphalt that leads to the horizon of our dreams. Of course, at this stage in my life, I feel confident I can obtain the same soul-searching revelations with a warm bed and a plasma TV.
In any case, this stay-at-home dad wants to provide his loyal readers with a veritable “real time” experience of this unique adventure. Thus, I’m going to provide a kind of play-by-play narrative, including all the gory details, at Twitter (and maybe Facebook). So follow me: steely_dad for exclusive updates. Missed what’s already happened? You can read previous tweets on my Twitter homepage. And, in a Steely Dad first, I’m also going to attempt to provide ALL updates utilizing nothing more than my mobile communication device. Enjoy!