As we were hurtling down I-40, I was quietly listening to my children playing and laughing in the backseat. I believe I took notice because it was unusual that they were all getting along and not begging to go pee or eat or get there already. So don't think that it was all lollipops and roses - unless they were the everlasting lollipop kind, then I'd have been all over it.
But it struck me that we were making memories. And that they could have been doing it at that very moment. I'm sure each parent who takes their children on a trip hopes that they'll remember the fun they had and all of the cool things that they did, and not remember the whining and crying and the "why, oh why would my mom not buy me all those souveneirs?"
But you never know what they will remember, and who will remember it. I think I'm unusual in that I remember so very little. Fortunately I have a sister with a memory for everything (fortunately for me, unfortunately for our mom...) so she makes up for all the millions of cool things that we did as kids that I've forgotten.
I think that it went along with a conversation that I'd had with Sarge the week before the trip - both of us realizing that we remembered the Olympics from the year that we were nine. I remember 1984 and Mary Lou Retton, he remembers 1980 and that whole hockey thing. We both remember being mezmerized by them and watching them whenever we could (of course, that was back in the day when that's all there was on - that or the Oliver North trial). And we realized that we needed to make an effort to expose our children to the Olympics this year, because this was the year for our oldest, that maybe, just maybe, he'd remember something special.
So these are the times in the lives of my children. The summers of fun and innocence, the summer family road trips before the ipods and eyerolling. The summers that coloring and playing board games with your mom and dad are still fun. The summers where we can still surprise them with fun things that they've not ever seen or done before or had a friend who had a friend who did it and said it was totally lame, dude.
The bad part is that I have to wait 20 years to see what they remember. And hopefully they won't only remember whats in the 662 (if only that were and exaggeration!) pictures I took.