I’ve been trying to get Jonah to enjoy reading fiction. “I don’t care what you read. Just read. How about the new Harry Potter? It doesn’t have to be great literature. It can be anything. I want you to get so absorbed in a book that you don’t even notice that you’ve turned a hundred pages or that you missed lunch or that 12 friends have sent you texts.”
I asked him what his favorite book from his English class was. He said Huckleberry Finn. Well, Huckleberry Finn is essentially a road trip book, I told him — a traveler goes to different towns, meets crazy, random people, gets briefly caught up in their craziness, maybe dodges some dangers, and then moves on, because the traveler is somehow freed from the usual responsibilities that chains the rest of us down to one place. The first roadtrip book was The Odyssey. And then there’s a long and glorious tradition of road trips books, since then and I suggested a few. He sighed and rolled his eyes and said that they all sounded boring.
We had our own little roadtrip last week. Visiting these gleaming cities of college campuses. Of course, we didn’t have to deal with one-eyed Cyclops or pissed off mobs demanding revenge for sideshow scams. We did have to deal with the call of the Sirens though, which is going to rob us blind as we polish off our oldest son for the modern job market.
I’ve pulled out my notebook this morning and have a list of more fun stuff offered at the schools that we visited: Zumba classes, a Fetty Wop concert (I guess he hit all the schools on our list this spring), speeches by Bill and Hill, Bernie, and Janet Yellin, tutoring, farm to table salad bar, brick oven pizza, classes on doing laundry, free movies every night, busses.
So, how did we survive all those boring tours? In 95 degree heat? That lasted two hours? How did we drag around a 14-year old with slight autism? Pokemon Go, baby. It saved the day. The campuses were loaded with Pokemon and pokeballs and eggs and silliness. And we also bookended the visits with lots of fun stuff, like tours of the Ben and Jerry’s factory, swims in the hotel pools, lobster rolls and microbrew. In the evening, we watched the DNC until late. It was a grand adventure.
The tours didn’t bother me too much, because they gave me lots of ammo for the Atlantic (and other venues) this fall.
(Gotta drive Jonah to his track practice and then hit the gym myself. I’ll finish off this saga later this afternoon.)