Thursday, May 28, 2009

How Much Is Too Much?

As a Dad, I am very proud of my little boy. Last week we completed a taxing road trip through the empty rangelands of Oregon. This trip was an experiment to determine how we can really do in a day. I'm not a stay-at-home kind of guy, but of course I want what is best for my child. How much can I really ask of him? How much does he get out of our days spent travelling?

Jude wasn't always happy on our trip. He spent hours in the carseat, but when we stopped he always found something interesting to climb around on. Maybe it wasn't always very clean, but definitely interesting. He also didn't sleep very well. Some of it was the bright desert sun, but also the evening heat and different surroundings, lack of mom, etc.

Then I think that maybe it is good to build a healthy sense of flexibility, adventure, and exploration. Where else could he encounter wild birds, chipmunks, and sagebrush? I love introducing Jude to the world around him. How could this be a bad thing?

This is a self-portrait of the weary travellers upon their return home. Which one of us looks the worse for wear?

Yesterday I took Jude for a long walk in the stroller through downtown Portland. By the end of it, he was wiped out, crying, and overstimulated - maybe from the people, or the sites and sounds, or the cars? I can honestly say that he was never that upset through the entire trip to SE Oregon.

I have to pronounce our road trip a success. We also received A LOT of support and positive reinforcement from Linden upon our return. So I guess its official. We're staying home this week to recover, and then off again next week to visit grandpa in Wallowa County. Woo hoo!
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Scott, Abby, Nora, & Kenai Isles said...

i totally agree with the sense of flexability, adventure, and exploration. I also agree with exposing kids to new things and even things that aren't too clean. (my sisters sister-in-law is much cleaner then we are - esp given that my daughter often gets licked by the dog - and her kid has gotten sick a lot more)

Maybe it's my own justification for not being able to sit still, but when we took Nora to Yosemite last weekend I figure she had to get something out of it... sense of scale that things can be really big? time spent in nature? just trying something different? spending time with other friends/relatives who love them but may not live in Portland?

On our flight several people asked "is this her first plane ride" and I was happy to say "no, actually it's her 26th".

I think it sounds like you're a great dad :)

Davidko said...

With you as a father, EBen, poor Jude will never get any rest.