How I Survived Long Car Rides With My Family
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Politics and Activism

How I Survived Long Car Rides With My Family

When you are trapped in a car with your siblings, how do you pass the time without killing one another?

How I Survived Long Car Rides With My Family

Growing up, every summer and Christmas we would drive to Wyoming to visit my mom’s family. That is about a 10-hour drive. So, with three children, my parents would pack our bags and pack up the car and we would be on our way. The 10 hours in a car with my siblings began, and sometimes being trapped in a car with them would be pure torture, but most times we were making memories that would last a lifetime. Here is how I learned to survive long car rides with my family.

First, we had to remember that we each had our own space and that our “personal space” in the car is sacred. The only way we were going to survive the many long car rides is if we stayed out of one another’s space. Now, we are siblings so of course this did not always happen and we would end up annoying one another, but having our own space was a key part to keeping the peace.

Secondly, we played many roadside car games. Our parents, no matter how much “stuff” we packed along to do in the car, would eventually have to find a way to entertain us. About an hour in, one of us was bound to say “Mom! I’m bored!” Many times it would result in our parents deciding to play roadside alphabet or the license plate game. We also became quite attached to travel-size games. These games would entertain us for the next hour until we decided that we were bored of them and move on to something else.

Another great way to pass time is to sleep. Now, when we were younger this was a harder concept to understand. We definitely did not want to miss that herd of cattle that we would see several of along the way. Being a college student now, I realize the real value of sleep, and since I’m going to be trapped in a car away from all responsibilities anyway, I might as well take the opportunity to catch up on sleep. Sleeping guarantees that you are out of your sibling’s space in the car and the temptation to push their buttons is gone because of sweet, sweet sleep.

Finally, use the time to make some great memories. One of my fondest memories with my siblings is from a trip to Wyoming. It was when my little sister was still a baby. When Erin was a baby, once you strapped her into her car seat you had exactly seven hours to get to your destination before she was absolutely done. Even if you stopped along the away to let her out, once that seven hours was up, the screaming started. So, on one of the Wyoming trips, our time was about up and Erin was starting to get fussy so it was up to Joshua and I to entertain her. She was in the middle and Joshua and I were on either side of her. We decided that it would be absolutely hilarious to pull the little amount of hair she had up to a point in the back, and then say, “Hey look! It’s Alfalfa!” For whatever reason, we found that to be hysterical! It got Erin to laugh and kept her occupied for about five minutes, but it was five minutes of peace.

Although we have had our fair share of fights on the road, we also have some very fond memories along the way, too. I am so thankful for the many times that I have had to be trapped in a car with my siblings because it brought us closer. I am also thankful for the opportunities to get caught up on my sleep without any shame of avoiding responsibilities.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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