If my dad was my age, I think we’d be buds.
But he’s my dad. So we’re not.
Well, sort of.
Like most, I’m convinced that there’s a point in every twenty-something’s life when they start viewing their parents as human beings. It usually happens the same way, too. At some unknown moment, our parental ideologies shift with the snap of a finger. Switching from unapologetic robots to partial parent-bots to full on human beings. Our parents became people that breath and converse and sometimes even understand one’s own refusal to apply themselves.
(Granted this took a lot of “well I think things are different now” talks but I think they eventually got it.)
Sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint those moments. Sometimes we don’t even realize it’s happening until after the fact.
For me, I totally anticipated this shift in paradigms. Dare I say… I even expected it?
The summer prior, I drove across Canada with my dad. And in the process, he became a human being.
And just so were clear, it’s not like we drove across Liechtstein here (one of the smallest country in the world, covering a mere 22 kms). Oh no, we’re talking about the great white north, the 51st state (oh, please), the second largest country in the world.
I’m talking about traveling across the trans-Canada highway (a whopping 8030 kms). From Vancouver, British Columbia to suburbia, Ontario. A small four-door packed with nothing else but camping gear, a bike, a jar of peanut butter, and a dad.
In the end, it was one of the best trips I’ve ever taken.
But, you knew that was coming, didn’t you?
(I mean, I’d be a pretty rotten daughter to be writing about how lame it was to travel with my dad so close to father’s day…)
My dad didn’t put up a fight when I pleaded the necessity of making the detour to Drumheller, Alberta to see the World’s Largest Dinosaur (recall my admittance of ultimately low travel standards).
And I only mildly complained when my dad insisted on stopping at EVERY SINGLE rest stop to check the oil, measure some barometer or something, or do a bunch of other car check-ups that were probably totally necessary but by no means helpful.
No exaggeration. Every. Single. Stop.
Obviously I learned a crapload about my dad from being stuck in a car with him for 2 weeks straight. (Did you know he once took a hockey puck right in the eye? And then, just to even out the score, got a knuckle puck shot right in the other eye? Ya, me neither…)
And did you know that we actually have a crapload in common?
I was surprised to learn that we both had no real issues with sneaking out of camp sites super early to avoid paying overpriced provincial-enforced site fees. We kindly labeled this as “the camp-and-dash.” It made us feel less like criminals.
When you travel with your dad, a bunch of crazy things can happen.
Obviously, a Dad will most likely foot the lunch bill, he probably knows the necessity of finding the good local brewery in Kelowna, and can definitely teach you a lot of helpful hints about setting up a tent in the dead of night.
And sometimes, even if you expect it, your dad can even morph into a human being…complete with gnarly hockey puck scars and a hankering for camping and dashing.