Reconnecting with My Teens on the RTA
It’s been about a month since I’ve started traveling on foot or RTA. I told the kids I will begin looking for a car soon but for my daughter. I don't mind being on the bus and trains, but she is a high schooler trying to work a part time job, go to school and do extracurriculars which is hard on the bus.
Today I had to take the boy to the doctor. The last time, our first time, we tried to manage getting to the doctor we ended up taking the whole day off and missing school and work. So today was another attempt and this time we had to make it work.
While riding down on the rapid I noticed something. The walk and ride on the train were uneventful! No anger or complaining from my son about having to walk, no complaints about the bus and no worries about where we were getting off. Just a quiet ride.
The transfer to the bus also went smooth, well as smooth as it can be for someone who left her debit card at home only to find out while checking out at CVS. According to the trip planner on the RTA app, we had a 10-minute layover from bus to train and we managed to get to the store, pick up some snacks, notice my missing debit card and make it to the bus with time to spare. And STILL no complaints from the 9th grader.
After our appointment, we hopped on the Healthline and rode to Uptown for lunch. It was during that moment where I realized that had I been driving and in the past, we’d leave the appointment and stop at a drive-through. I’d hurry him to eat in the car and drop him off at school as quickly as possible so I could hurry to my next stop.
But this time as well as the last doctor’s appointment we slowed down cause we had too. We spent time together and talked as we rode the bus (no car radio to distract us), we sat down and had a meal together and we talked some more while waiting for a connecting train or bus.
I had noticed the same held true for my daughter. See, before being carless I was getting tired of being mom’s taxi. Always on the go, rushing from place to place with last minute scheduling updates wondering how many things I could cram into my day. Now my day starts with a walk to the bus stop. Since she has to leave before the sun rises, I walk with her every morning and ride part with her until she catches her transfer after a layover. During our rides we either we talk about the day, take selfies (I don't know why) or she reads and does last minute studying to prepare for classes.
It’s kind of nice to move a little slower. Don’t get me wrong, we are often rushing to get to the bus or train stop but once we get there, we wait together, we talk and spend time together. To have 2 high schoolers whose time under my roof is quickly coming to an end time, this opportunity to spend time together is such a blessing to me.