Our oldest daughter turned 16 last week. That’s one of those significant, milestone birthdays because you can get your driver’s license.
Even though she’s been driving back and forth to school for over a year with a school permit… I still get nervous at the thought of her driving. Not because she’s a bad driver (she’s not) but because I tend to be an overprotective Dad.
At supper tonight I told her the story of the very first time she made me nervous in a vehicle. She was less than a month old and it was coming back from Christmas at our in-laws. The longest car ride she had made at that point
It’s a two-hour trip and the drive there was during the day so I could see her in the review mirror the whole way. As cautious first-time parents, my wife and I had a mirror suction-cupped in the back window so we could see her… even though she was in a rear-facing car seat.
The return trip was the one that was a little nerve-wracking. We left after dark so we couldn’t see her in the mirror. A half hour into the ride my wife and I started to be concerned that my daughter was quiet in the back seat. A little too quiet.
Was she OK? Had she stopped breathing? Logic told us she was just fine and sleeping… but being newbie parents, after some debate, we felt compelled to pull over at the next rest stop.
Turns out she was sleeping… that is, until the car stopped, the overhead light came on, and she woke up.
That did not make her happy at all. She cried most of the remaining way home. My wife and I kicked ourselves for our nervous, rookie mistake and vowed to never make that one again!
Fast forward 16 years and not much has changed. My daughter still gets cranky when you wake her up from a nap. 🙂
What’s a rookie parenting mistake you made?
I was talking with a friend recently about how much airport security has changed over the years. About how strict it is now… and how lax it was when I was younger.
I shared the story of how my brother and I got a personal tour of an airplane when we were kids. He was probably around 9 and I would’ve been 12. My family made the 90-minute trip to spend the day in Des Moines.
My dad thought it would be fun to check out the airport. We parked for a while at a great spot to watch the planes take off and land. Then we went up to the terminal to see the action from inside.
I don’t remember any sort of security. We watched a few planes land and unload the baggage. My brother and I were fascinated by the experience.
After all the passengers had disembarked one of the planes my dad asked a stewardess if we could get a quick look inside the plane. She walked us right down the portal and into the plane.
We got to go into the cockpit and sit in the pilot’s seats. I was amazed at all the lights, levers, and gauges. As we left the cockpit and walked back up the portal, the stewardess handed a pair of gold, plastic wing pins to my brother and I. We both thought they were the coolest things ever.
An experience like this could never happen today. If you don’t have a ticket you can’t even get past security to go to the terminals.
Do you have an airport memory from when you were a kid?
When it’s Fall in Iowa it’s kind of hard to not see farm equipment. I’ve been seeing combines, tractors, and grain trucks on the roads, in the fields… and in my newsfeeds.
They all have me thinking about a fun game my cousins and I used to play at my grandparent’s house. Back then, this story might’ve gotten us in trouble with my grandpa and uncles… but we’re all older now and the statute of limitations has probably run out. 😉
At my grandparent’s farm, there was a building called “the quonset”. It was a long metal building with a semi-circle cross-section. This building housed all the farm equipment.
There were tractors, combines, planters, wagons, and more… all expertly tucked inside the building. Their location inside was determined by the time of year.
My cousins and I turned all that farm equipment into an obstacle course. The game was to start at one end of the quonset and get to the other end and back without touching the floor. The only to do it was to climb on and over all the equipment. Kind of like a giant farm jungle gym.
It was fun and kept us busy. Looking back now I’m sure my grandpa and uncles knew what my cousins and I were up to. They had to have seen several small shoeprints in the dust on the equipment the next time they moved it all.
What games did you play with your cousins?