We were eating lunch when the kids started talking about it.
“It’d be fun to go to a Major League baseball game this summer,” urged Austin, our ten-year-old. “We’ve never been to one.”
“Let’s go Disneyland!” Zoe said.
Mitch, the oldest and heading into high school suggested, “We should hike part of the Appalachian Trail.”
“You guys are full of ideas. I’d like to spend a week at a cabin on a lake,” I said.
“I just read about the National Parks. Let’s go visit one,” said Jim, my husband. “Wait, let’s go to Canada, visit a foreign county.”
“The Toronto Blue Jays play in Canada,” piped in Austin.
Zoe pointed out, “There’s no Disneyland in Canada.”
And that is how our family road trip to Canada got its start. I scratched my head contemplating the required organization. At that very moment, Zoe, our twelve-year-old, made the suggestion of the century. “I think you should let us kids do the planning! We’re smart and we’ve got the Internet.”
My husband and I looked at each other. I asked, “What will you do?”
“I’ll map it out,” volunteered Mitch. “And be the co-pilot.”
“I can research places to go and stay,” stated Zoe. “And, figure out the snacks.”
“You have to be generous with the snacks, Zoe. I’ll keep a journal during the trip. Don’t yell at the slow drivers, dad,” teased Mitch.
“I’ll be in charge of the baseball game” said Austin, “and a video.”
“Don’t take any videos of me. We have to have rules,” insisted Zoe.
“Yes, rules.” I read my husband’s thoughts.“ I think you can do it. Go for it. Your dad and I have tweaking and veto power. And there’s a budget. You’re good with numbers, Zoe.”
A week later Mitch started, “Mom, dad, we can rent a cabin near Rainer National Park in Washington State. There are lakes, too. And hiking trails. We can go to a Seattle Mariners baseball game.”
“Then we’re going to take a ferry to Victoria Island, in Canada, and then take a different one to Vancouver, if that’s okay with you,” said Zoe.
“Is that better than driving, Zoe?” asked Jim.
“Mom loves boat rides.”
“Will our car fit in a ferry boat? I forgot,” asked Austin.
“Remember, we watched the videos?” Mitch reminded him.
Austin nodded, “We’re going to get wet cuz it rains all the time. And, dad, there are live volcanoes.”
It would have never occurred to me to ask my three, who often squabble, to plan our road trip. Yet, together they are connecting interesting places with time and watching the bottom line. To be honest, I’m really enjoying not being the designated cruise director. I’ll let you know if they find a quiet lake for me. For us. The Smiths.