Did I Pass Along the Wandering Gene?

Last week, my daughter Chloe and I were sitting in the backyard melting away the day’s have-to-dos in the sunshine. Seemingly out of nowhere she said, “I wish I could just get in the car and drive and drive and drive.” I gently reminded her that she’s old enough to drive now. But, she dreamily replied that that wasn’t it. She just wanted to sit and look out the window.

The exchange caught me off guard though it isn’t the first time I’ve heard her say something like that. Maybe it was the setting, the delivery, the warm spring sun or maybe it was me. Maybe it was like listening to my inner voice come to life. My child spoke the unsaid words that I’ve felt thousands of times. Does she have the wandering gene?

On Saturday, Chloe hopped on the back of the Bonnie and we set off on a little excursion to see some “stuff.” But mostly, it was just be out and enjoy the day.

Our first stop was the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Garden in Springfield, Massachusetts. We walked around the small square looking at the bronze sculptures. She and I giggled as I embarrassingly sang the Cat in the Hat song. The lyrics were still fresh in my mind from when Chloe was just a wee girl.

I’m a gwunka in a bunka-kwunk in Eskimo.

Lunch brought us up the road to one of the many starred locations on my Google Maps app – Al’s Diner in Chicopee. Inside, a single waitress hustled around the place, as busy as a bee, filling coffee cups, taking orders, setting down plates of french fries, and confirming that yes, it was indeed a crocheted ham on the shelf.

After eating, we stood in the parking lot gearing up. I said, “One day these old places will be gone and you’ll look back and say I remember…” I’m not sure if I was saying it to her or to myself. It was just a string of words that needed to be said out loud.

I was surprised to hear Chloe say, “that would be terrible.” Most of the time I feel like dragging a kid around to see these dumb old things that I like is something akin to torture. Perhaps I’ve been wrong.

Often, I find myself hoping that I am not inadvertently “programming” her to like what I like. I’m sure some of it rubs off by osmosis and I can’t do anything about that. When it comes to kids it could go either way – I love/hate what my mom used to do.

Only time will suss it all out, I guess.


Rachael is the whimsical writer behind the 20+ year old Girlie Motorcycle Blog. As a freelance blogger, she is on a mission to inspire laughter, self-examination, curiosity, and human connection. Girlie Motorcycle Blog can be found on several Best Motorcycle Blog lists.

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5 Responses

  1. Darrin says:

    Show them as much as you possibly can. They will like some and some they will not. But more importantly, they will remember. They will remember that they had experiences with you. And later on in life, the places will not matter but the time spent with you will always be the constant. And it’s better that they experience a parent who is in their element and happy rather than one just going through the motions.

  2. Every day is a gift. My daughters have been a part of some of the most amazing gifts anyone could ever receive. So glad you have a great relationship with yours!

  3. Kathy says:

    I often wonder what my kids love/hate about what I did as a parent. It’s one of those questions I don’t want to ask. You know, don’t ask if you don’t REALLY want to know the answer.

    I do believe that seeing more of the world, whether small-scale inter-state travel or larger-scale international jaunts, broadens the mind in so many wonderful ways.

  4. curvyroads says:

    I think it’s wonderful that you can enjoy days like this with your teenage daughter! She will sort out what she likes and doesn’t in her own time, but a wandering gene is a gift of a lifetime of education and enjoyment.

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