I put a lot of miles on my van. A LOT! Tonight I was thinking about how much we regularly drive throughout the week. Perhaps I shouldn’t have calculated it, but in the throes of the school year, this is what it comes down to:
- Monday: Twice to school for band. One trip to karate. Total: 29 miles.
- Tuesday: Twice to school for band. Once to choir practice. Total: 29 miles
- Wednesday: Twice to school for band, once to karate, once to church. Total: 35 miles
- Thursday: Twice to school for band, once to homeschool PE, once to soccer practice, once to American Heritage Girls. Total: 64 miles.
- Friday: Twice to school for band. Total: 11 miles.
- Saturday: Soccer game. Total: 10 miles.
- Sunday: Church. Total: 6 miles.
Not including any grocery shopping, other errands, or miscellaneous homeschool meetings, that’s a grand total of 184 miles every week! Which means I spend more than 3 hours every week in my car!
I could complain about three hours of wasted time every week, or I could think of it another way.
I have three hours a week with my children’s undivided attention. That’s three hours to talk, listen to books on tape, make up silly songs together, and discuss what’s happening in their lives.
Some of our best conversations happen in the car, especially when I’m driving with one child at a time.
Sure, we rack up the miles by running the kids to this activity and that activity. At the same time, though, we gain that time in the car, where the kids can’t get busy with something to avoid talking. Where I, as a parent, am not distracted by things that need to get done around the house, instead of giving my children my full attention.
I’m a homebody at heart, and driving around town is not my favorite thing. However, by considering the good that can come out of time spent in the car with the kids, drive time is transformed from drudgery to a blessing.