Exploring the Roads
Those Tolkien fans out there might recognize this quote:
He used often to say there was only one Road; that it was like a great river; its springs were at every doorstep, and every path was its tributary. “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door,” he used to say. “You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to…”
I adopted this concept into our family life some time ago. It started one Saturday, when my wife wanted a day to herself. I took the kids, loaded them in the car, and said “let’s go explore the roads.” Of course they didn’t know what I was talking about, so I explained that you never really know where you might end up when you go exploring. That day, we ended up at the Brevard Zoo. On our way out, we met my parents for pie. Amazingly enough, they just happened to be eating pie in the restaurant at the entrance to the zoo when we left.
We’ve had lots of adventures since that day when we “explored the roads” – Disney, Epcot, hikes, zoos, even shopping.
Now that you understand that little piece of our family culture, it’s time to move on to this past weekend.
My wife has been out of town the past five days, leaving the boys and I to our own devices. You know the old saying – when the mommas away, the boys will play. My plan with the boys was to do Epcot on Saturday. When Saturday morning arrived, however, my youngest was exhausted. Too much playing, I suspect.
“I don’t want to go to Epcot,” he said. “I just want to stay home!”
His older brother didn’t like this idea at all. “How about a park?”
“Explore the roads?”
The little guys eye widened. “Yeah! Let’s explore the roads!”
Two heads turned towards me. “Let’s explore the roads! Please, can we? Can we?”
“Umm…” I stalled. I had not done any prep at all – and they had already eliminated most of my standbys. I couldn’t come up with any excuses, though. After all, there is not supposed to be any work involved when exploring the roads.
I packed a bag with waterbottles and snacks and we boarded the car for a truly random experience.
My oldest picked the first turn. My youngest picked the next. We took turns picking which direction to drive in, leaving ourselves completely at the whims of fate.
What happened, you ask? I’ll tell you Wednesday!