While we’ve always supported schooling, Mark Twain’s* quote echoes LOUDLY:
“Never Let Schooling Interfere With Your Education”
Both of us were raised in rural areas in the Deep South and our classroom extended from the woods to the open highways. Today,there seems to be a greater emphasis on meeting national and state education mandates in the classroom. As parents, we feel a growing responsibility to enhance our children’s education while making memories.
Memories don’t make themselves!
Although we both traveled as children, we’ve haven’t always had that “if it is to be it’s up to me” attitude. Becoming working college students and parents has a weird way of reprogramming your mind. When you have a weekend off it’s so easy to just relax and watch another episode on Netflix or catch up on laundry. Even breaks between school was a chance to make up some hours at work. We fooled ourselves into thinking that spending a few hours a week was enough to be a family. Family life sometimes seemed more like Discovery Channel survival show than something you could look forward to at the end of every day.
“If it is to be it’s up to me!”
Our family began nurturing the “if it is to be it’s up to me” attitude. No one is going to spend time with our family for us. It’s our responsibility. If we wait till tomorrow… well, we’d better just do it today. If a kid said, “Let’s go play mini golf” we tried our hardest to say “YES!” Of course we have school, a mortgage and work. The word, “no” still comes up. But, if someone’s going to spend time with our kids it has to start NOW and it’s going to be me! Not later. Not someone else. We decided to stop saying “no” so much. Yes, it’s still a Discovery Channel survival show… but we’ve found that as we spend time together on these trips we have the time we need to talk. We laugh, revisit memories, listen to our favorite music, and just enjoy each other. The more we travel there seems to be less arguing, and our kids approach and tell us about their days. We’ve found that while on the road it becomes easy to talk about challenging topics. While the laundry doesn’t do itself, after a weekend getaway we return to the work week and school rejuvenated and with a happier family.
Brian’s job sometimes has him working a lot. One evening, while away at a remote job site, a superintendent was explaining how he’d spent his whole life working and was near retirement. He’d been away so much that his kids barely knew him. He said if he had to do it all over again, then things would be different. Now, we’ve all heard this story before from grandparents, movies, and even a country song or two. It’s definitely a cliché. This had been the thousandth time Brian had heard this same “song” but this time, something clicked. If everyone always says they wish things could have been different, what does it take to change? Thursday morning, he began the drive home. With several hours to think, he called home and said, “Let’s keep the kids home from school tomorrow. Pack a suitcase. Where we goin’, I dunno. Let’s just go.”
There’s something that tugs at each of our hear strings. The desire to go camping, skiing as a family, singing songs, building a tree house, seeing New York. We’d recommend that you make a promise to yourself. As soon as you feel that heart-string-tug write it down! Put it on the calendar or even better – do it today! Just commit to doing it. Brian is an Engineer building robotic and safety systems at large industrial plants. Tammy taught in private and public schools for almost ten years and is now a full-time chef, launderer, wielder of crayons, referee, psychiatrist, field medic, chauffeur, but most importantly, a mom!
Join us as we take a moment to share our discoveries, tips, tricks, and most of all memories!
* Technically, the quote is believed to have originated from Grant Allen and often quoted by Mark Twain a decade later.
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