loss of the view behind

I didn’t grow up with siblings, so my perspective and interpretation may be skewed. That doesn’t, however, keep me from being right.

I was reading a blog post today (”Country Mouse, City Mouse” at Phables by Brad Guigar) wherein my entertainer was describing a recent 26-hour car trip with his wife and two children—ages two and five. Describing the potential for displeasure during transit, Mr. Guigar said with regards to portable DVD players: “I wouldn’t try a road trip like this with young kids without one. Ever.”

Evar? DVD players have only been around since the mid-to-late-1990s, and their portable descendants even more recently. So what would you have done 10–15 years ago? Not traveled? Not taken your children? Or could you have entertained and distracted them sufficiently with books, songs, games, snacks, and the adventure of travel?

I thought about my mother-in-law’s family and when they were touring with their band all over the country (and the world!) in the 70s and 80s. What did they have? Each other, their music, books?, their imaginations, and patience. I’m sure they spent a lot of time talking, practicing, playing little games, and doing their best to have fun and be patient with each other as a family. Crazy, eh?

I took several long car trips long before the advent of the DVD player (portable or no), and several afterwards whereupon I had no such contrivances.

  • 17:31 (hours:min) from Boerne, Tx. to Versailles, Ky.

  • 16:56 round trip from Lexington, Ky. to Ft. Bragg, Nc. and back.

  • The worst 8:54 ever: to and back from Lexington, Ky. to Iaeger, Wv. to spend a month with my sister’s family. Never again.

  • 14:24 from Lexington, Ky. to Orange, Va. and back.

  • and 36 hours from Lexington, Ky. to McChord AFB, Wa. And forth. And back. And forth.

While Angelbiscuit and I took a laptop to watch Stargate SG-1 DVDs for one of the drives from Washington to Kentucky, we were well into adultishhood by then and could have easily amused ourselves otherwise (However, Stargate won’t watch itself).

Contrast my growing up with the Guigar children: I might have had music available to me (cassette players & mix tapes), and usually took books, magazines, maybe some puzzles, and always a pillow or two; I never had a cell phone, laptop, Game Boy, or a TV, or DVDs, et cetera.



I don’t think so.


thumbnail image: “The Old Man and the Key”, © 2002 Fox Broadcasting Company