Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Dad: The Oregon Trail (or Road Trips with Your Family)

There comes a time for every young family when they must all pile into a car and drive to a destination several hours away. Mary, Susan and I have done this countless times, along with our dog Oscar who always behaves as if we're taking him to Mount Doom to sacrifice him for the greater good of Middle Earth.

If you've never taken a baby on a long road trip, it's a special experience. Throw in a dog who hates car rides, and it's the ultimate test of patience. Mary and I recently took a trip to Charleston to visit my parents, but for the first time since Susan was born, we did so without the baby, who was already there visiting her grandparents. It was glorious. Instead of "Wheels on the Bus" on repeat, we listened to a book on tape while our chemically-sedated dog dozed in his crate. We had forgotten that road trips could actually be fun, not stressful. 

Then we came back home, with Susan and Oscar, and it was back to switching up activities and songs for five hours to keep the 17-month-old occupied and the dog from dog-screaming. At least Susan didn't have an ear infection this time.

We've done this so many times that collectively, we've already tackled the ultimate family road trip, which is The Oregon Trail. No, we haven't battled dysentery or snake bites (yet), but that doesn't mean our road trips are any easier. On the contrary, I think a covered wagon trek across the country would be easier because at least Susan would have oxen to look at and not the back of the passenger seat.

So now in the first episode of a multi-part series, A Thin Red Line presents to you, The Oregon Trail.


What will happen to the Cooks? Will Chris be a cheap-ass and try to ford the river when a perfectly good ferry is available? What will Oscar hump next? Will Susan ever learn to cope with ANYTHING? Stay tuned!


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