Sunday Drives

Main Piece: CR: Grandpa worked 6 days a week and Sunday was his only day off. It was important for him to connect with his family. If you stay at home, I’m off playing with a friend or watching TV, or grandma is asking him to clean the garage, so all four of us would load up in the car and we would drive. And we would just go. Sometimes we’d drive to the desert, sometimes to the mountains. But it wasn’t about the destination. Sometime we’d stop and get a meal, sometimes a soda, look at something interesting, but we weren’t driving for the sake of going somewhere, we were driving for the sake of four people in a car, sharing space and talking. And I hated it, because I’d rather be playing with my friend!  But now as a parent, I can see why they did that That was his way of keeping connected with his family every week. When you and I would go visit Aunt A, that was important, because it waa just the two of us, talking and laughing. And then also, your first year of college! I know i would come pick you up and you were always normally not feeling good, and then when we’d be sitting in traffic for 2 ½ hours sitting that we would have some time together. I think those times in cars as being time to connect. I will extrapolate more even! When you were a baby you would talk and talk and talk, and in the backseat, and I’d have to say to you, “no talking in the car because I’m driving, no talking in the car.” And then I did have a point where I thought to myself, “I have to stop saying that because i don’t want you to think there’s no talking in the car because isolated car time is perfect time for interactions!”


Context: Sunday Drives were taken every Sunday, in both CR’s childhood and in her daughter’s childhood.


Background: Sunday Drives were an important part of CR’s relationship with her parents as she was growing up, and so when she grew her own family she knew that this tradition was just as important to her as it was to her father.


Analysis: Sunday Drives are a typical thing in the American culture; the housewife has been home cleaning all week, her husband has been working 9-5 Monday through Friday, and Sunday is his last day off before he goes to work, before the kids go back to school, etc. Across families, this tradition of taking a family trip to nowhere in particular, or driving just for the sake of driving, is a huge piece of folklore in America. For CR’s family, both as she was growing up and as she was raising her own daughter, these regular drives were so important, as they were time when you were sort of forced to be with your family, you were supposed to bond and have conversations and laugh, and you got to spend a whole day together without any distractions.


For another version of this tradition, see CBS News.