When our sons begin to grow into men, fathers come face to face with the enormity of the undertaking of being a father, along with how much we may have failed to prepare them for the challenges of being a man of substance. I know I have been feeling this, as I have been watching two of my boys turn 16 (yes, twins) and trying to find ways to help them make the transition to men in a modern world. I sedond guess myself, wondering if I should have put more emphasis on this or that, berating myself for the choices that I made (or didn’t make) and bemoaning the lost hours when they were little.
I can’t get them back.
I can’t hit rewind.
I won’t get a do-over.
But I can take a road trip!
Road trips are part and parcel of life in America. A car, some gas, a destination, and snacks, and you have the makings of an adventure worthy of a novel, or at least a post in an obscure blog.
My son and I took my 97 Sebring convertible (not a midlife crisis car, but fun, none-the-less) and filled it with gas and gummi worms and pretzels and headed for Vegas. No, I wasn’t planning that kind of trip! It just so happened that Vegas was hosting the NHRA event on this particular weekend, and my son and I are both into that kind of thing.
Before I say anything about the trip, it is important to remember that the point of a road trip is the adventure. Sure, we started with a loose plan, but the goal of the experience was just, well, going. We went. It was a blast!
It was not without challenges, including a break down, repairing a car in a parking lot of an auto parts store in North Las Vegas with a mobile mechanic who spoke no English. Sleep deprivation was part of the equation, as was sunburn on the first day and blizzard conditions on the drive back home.
The whole trip took less than 48 hours, but the memories will, I hope, live much longer.
During the road trip, we talked. We talked about cars, about faith, about family, about the beauty of the world around us and sometimes about nothing.
We took a few moments out of both of our busy lives and just hung out, being together, having a wonderful time.
I got a new patch for my jacket, he got signatures from racers on his hat, and we made memories that, I hope will last a lifetime.
Guys, you take time to do road trips with your buddies. Don’t forget to take time to do them with your sons. Because in those quiet moments, bonds are forged that become more powerful than time or distance.
We’re already planning the next road trip. . .