Following on our post from two weeks ago, I wanted to share one of my best childhood memories – the surprise ride. One Saturday morning my mom and dad said to my brother and me, “today we are going on a surprise ride.” My brother and I had a very contentious sibling rivalry, but on that day, riding in the back of my parents car, our shared excitement about the outing trumped our customary bickering.
And this may be hard to believe, but I’m not even sure where we went. I can guess that it was to Kennywood Park or maybe putt-putt or batting cages, but the destination wasn’t the point. The ride took us away from our house and the regular rhythms and roles that came with it. But the real strength in the memory for me was having my parents all to ourselves, and that together they had planned something just for us.
I share this now as we look to summer months that may hold a number of unplanned mornings or afternoons. Think of a new destination – a hike, a beach, a putt putt golf course in a town you’ve never been to – don’t tell the kids where you are going ‘til you arrive. Then sit back and enjoy the ride. –n