When I was a boy, I pleaded with my father to take us to Daniel Boone State Park in southern Missouri. It was a boyhood dream and the complete adventure as I studied the legend I learned about in school. Unfortunately, the drive home went down a freshly paved country road and my father’s impeccable T-Bird collected tar in the tire wheels and siding. For several hours, my father could only complain about the tar rather than focus on the adventure. While I had vowed not to make the same mistake with my son, my own obsessive discipline and goal-oriented nature has overshadowed many a moment together.
Several days ago, Alex and I embarked on an adventure to register his truck and purchase his first license plates. We searched for the closest DMV and headed out late on a Friday afternoon. After about a half hour of waiting, we realized that we would have to go to a Denver County DMV. A little frustrated, we searched on the phone for a location across town. After battling traffic for 45 minutes we realized that our next location was across the street in another county. Quickly, we searched again and found a Denver location clear across town. We also learned that we had to be there by 4:30 in order to get a ticket for the line. Probably 40 stoplights and numerous traffic jams later, we arrived at the DMV at precisely the moment the officer was locking the door. Shut out. Two hours of driving and we failed to accomplish our goal.
On the long drive back home, I had some of those fatherly thoughts about how some advance research and planning should have been done. Fortunately, I bit my tongue and instead silently reflected upon how I just got to spend two hours in mind numbing traffic with my son. We listened to country music, looked at cool sports cars and trucks and teased each other. While I could see it as a failure and loss of two hours of productive time, the peace of just being with my son seemed far more compelling. It was two hours that I will always remember.