If I were a tourist patrol…

Leading SPACIOUS is my dream job.  That’s probably not a shock since I created it in response to a personal vision about what I most want for people I love — freedom, the realization that there is more, deep connections, purpose and meaning in support of the common good. Just a few lofty goals.

If I weren’t leading SPACIOUS, I think I’d be a tourist patrol. I made that up, but isn’t that the way of the work world these days… that the jobs many of us do are of our own design?

A tourist patrol would drive around with a special detector, sort of like a metal detector, that hones in on fanny packs, water bottles, visors, out-of-state license plates and matching sneakers. It positively lights up in the region of parental earnestness.

I’d thus identify beleaguered parents who are forcing their children to go on death marches to all of the Smithsonian museums in one day (while their children are pleading to just go back to the hotel and jump on the beds or play in the pool).

And once identified, these people would melt into my hands like putty left on an Independence Avenue crosswalk. And I’d comfort them with the fact that their children will indeed remember the trip to Washington, requisite stop that it is in the journey that is an American childhood.

But then I’d convince them (quickly, for they have better things to do) that their children will most of all remember the time when Dad laughed so hard that the water he was drinking poured down his chin and the time when Mom didn’t realize until too late that she wore unmatching shoes and spent the day pretending it was on purpose.

I’d tell them, “You get points for being alive and showing up. It’ll be okay if they don’t see the lunar module. Really.”

And then I’d invite them all to a big pie-throwing party, with licking whipped cream off of their arms optional. And I’d offer an adult-sized moon bounce. And I’d load the fanny packs with jacks or super balls or bubble gum. And I’d tie cans and streamers onto the minivans and write with soap on the windows, “We did D.C., and we still love each other.”

Ah, the earnestness of parenting. Ah, the poignancy of all that wasted effort. Ah, the beauty of a family that plays and laughs together — whether at home or on the road.

Life is serious, people. Take it lightly.


PHOTO CREDIT: I bought this postcard a while ago. Not sure who makes it. Glad to give credit; please let me know!

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