Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Long car time = long talk time

And while that is not exactly the most fun thing in the world with little children it can be one of the best experiences of your life when it is a grandparent or parent.

Several years ago I bought Houston Astros tickets for my family and asked my grandfather to go with us. He loved the idea. It's a 4 hour drive from San Antonio to Houston with traffic and my grandfather opened up to my husband and me in ways he never had before. It was obvious that with the death of his wife a couple years earlier he was in need of someone to just talk to. We learned so much about him in that time. Things my husband and I still talk about today.

We missed Christmas at my husband's grandmother's housr this year and instead I asked if she would like to travel to Shreveport to go to her favorite casino. She jumped at the idea. In fact she is so excited about this my mother-in-law and her sisters are wondering why they didn't think of this before either. I am looking forward to this for a couple reasons. First and obvious is that we are going to a casino (whoop there it is!). Secondly I am hoping this trip will afford a chance for my mother-in-law to talk to her mother like she normally cannot.

Plus I get to see my Urban Dare buddy :)

So if you plan to travel with a gtrandparent or elderly parent (Meme is in her 80s) let me give you a few tips:

1. Plan bathroom breaks. Don't make them ask. Most are proud and don't want to trouble you so be sure to stop because "you" need a drink or break.

2. Plan your questions ahead of time. Take something to record their responses. It will probably freak them out a bit at first, but once they open up and start sharing stories they will get into it as well. My grandfather talked for 3 straight hours on the way home. My husband barely got any words in LOL!

3. Take them a place THEY want to go. It let's you know more about them by seeing them in situations they are more comfortable with. Plus they are more likely to go if they get to choose!

4. Don't go too far, but make sure it's far enough to get talk time in. This is a tricky balance. Try to get at least an hour and a half one way in the car. But make sure if you are in heavy traffic it isn't so heavy it requires all your attention...this would defeat the purpose!

This is such a fulfilling experience for everyone. I hope you take the time to do it as well!

1 comment:

  1. This post makes me happy and sad at the same time. :o\


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