My daughter likes nothing better than going for a drive. I don’t get it myself. I spend too much time in the car as it is. Why would anyone choose to go for a drive for no reason? But if ever we need to drive the boys anywhere, she will choose to come along and sometimes she will ask just to go for a drive, for no other reason than to go for a drive.
In the summer, she got into the habit of asking to go for a drive on a Friday evening. Surprisingly, my younger son usually opted to go along too. So with nothing better to do, I joined them. And I started to understand the reason for the drive. Because the kids relaxed, opened up, had a good laugh and talked more. Friday evening drives started to become quite enjoyable.
Inevitably, the drives started to take us to coffee shops and cake. Friday drives became ‘Friday treat’. We never drove far – the furthest we drove was Gloucester Services (that sounds weird to anyone who has never been to Gloucester Services, but everyone who has will understand – it’s nothing like your average service station). Sometimes we literally just drove down the road and focused more on the ‘treat’ aspect and less on the driving.
And one of the best parts for the kids?
Their brother knew nothing about it.
This started when my son was working every Friday in the chip shop and they liked the fact that they were doing something without him and he didn’t even know they were doing it. If ever I mentioned it in passing, they would take pride in saying ‘But we didn’t go to a coffee shop on Friday, did we?’.
My son isn’t stupid. I’m sure he knew we were going out without him and I’m sure he didn’t actually mind.
My son no longer works at the chip shop, he has a new job working weekends. He likes the idea of a coffee and cake on a Friday evening, so he has started to join us for Friday treat.
And as I sit in a coffee shop with my two teenage boys and my nearly-teenage girl, I feel blessed that my kids are still happy to hang out with their parents and sit in a coffee shop with us on a Friday evening.