I remember as a kid when my dad would take the entire family for a drive. It wasn’t just any drive; it was a Sunday drive. I referred to the Sunday drive to my son the other day and he seemed a bit confused. What was the difference between driving on Sunday versus any other day of the week? It was what we did during that drive that made it special.
The Sunday drive didn’t always start off special. It was a surprise move to my brother, sister and me. Dad would say, “Get in the car. We’re going for a drive.” At that point, we knew we were locked in for hours. With the high price of gas these days, could you see yourself taking your family out for a Sunday drive? What about a Sunday walk? Or maybe a Sunday bike ride?
I remember hating these drives as a kid. My dad would take us to places we would never think about going otherwise. And these drives would last the entire Sunday afternoon. The only positive that came out of this was if we brought Grandma with us. She would force dad to stop for ice cream along the way. I loved Grandma.
Looking back now I realize I actually learned from these Sunday drives. I have the same ability and trait that my dad has. I can return to a place I’ve only been to once with very little help from a map, directions or a GPS. This definitely helps me as a driving instructor when I have to pick up a student from their home that I’ve only been to once.
I also realize that some of these places my dad took us to are actually interesting. I find myself doing the same things now as a dad. The one benefit I have that my dad didn’t was ear buds. Each of my kids has their own taste in music. They’ll bring their ipods or cell phones with music programed into it and listen to it as we drive. I can either listen to what I like or have a nice conversation with my wife. As a kid, we had to listen to whatever my dad liked most of the time. Can you say Johnny Cash?
I have to give my dad credit though. There were still a lot of distractions for him back in those days. There weren’t cell phones or video players in the vehicle back then. No cup holders too. The distractions were whiney kids hating the fact they had to sit in an un-air conditioned vehicle for hours at a time. There were no hand held video games back then. Oh yeah, we had books, but why would you want to actually read when you weren’t forced to from your teacher? My dad stayed focused on his driving and we never had even a close call.
Not only did I learn about route planning, staying focused while driving and dividing your attention while driving from these trips; I learned about doing things with family. Spending time with family is a great way to spend your Sunday afternoons, even if it means going on a Sunday drive.