Just got back from taking the kids (and the dog) on our annual summer road trip to Grandma’s (a 26-hour round trip) and while there, we decided to rent a movie and teach Grandma how to use her DVD player. It’s hard to find a movie on which an 86-year-old, a 15-year-old, an 11-year-old and two 40-something parents can agree, but at Allison’s suggestion we chose “RV”, a 2006 family road trip movie starring Robin Williams, Jeff Daniels, Kristin Chenowith, Cheryl Hines, Will Arnett and teen pop star Jo Jo. While it’s not Academy Award-caliber, it was a good choice that all of us enjoyed and has a great opening scene that Andy and I could so relate to…a darling little girl sits on her bed, giggling while her daddy (Robin Williams) entertains her with sock puppets. After Mom walks by and scolds him for getting the girl riled up at bedtime, the girl tells Daddy she doesn’t ever want to leave home and get married so she can always be with him, and he tells her that no matter where she goes they will always have a special friendship (fade to black). The next scene shows Robin Williams driving a car, a frown on his face as he angrily talks to his daughter, now 15, who sits behind him, chewing gum, Ipod earplugs in her ears. She’s mad at him and calls him a name (was it Dork? Loser?) because they’re driving to pick up her friend and he doesn’t know where the friend lives. Robin Williams looks like he’s going to cry. “Dad, she just gave you the finger!” pipes up her younger brother, also in the back seat.
By the end of the movie (and their family road trip in an RV), the daughter appears to have changed her attitude about Dad. Hmmm… even though we don’t rent an RV (yep, that’s my aravan doing all that driving), I do think my own status was raised slightly in Allison’s eyes during this trip because we visited my college alma mater on the way home and ate lunch at a sidewalk cafe near campus, and since it appeared to be freshman check-in day, Allison got to do major people-watching. We walked and drove around campus and the girls asked me lots of questions. Allison said it was the highlight of her trip.
Andy, unfortunately, didn’t fare as well. Turns out he’d turned off the AC on the second floor of our house just before we’d left town, so teen daughter did not appreciate the sweltering 93 degrees that welcomed her tired body when we drooped into our bedrooms last night at 1 a.m.
Ah, family road trips…gotta love ’em!