Over the summer there have been quite a few rows and arguments in my little world. Not vicious angry ones mind you, but good-natured, friendly ones, if there is such a thing. I have stayed well away from them; have tried my best to remain impartial and removed as I have no advice to offer, no opinion to add and nothing of value to suggest. You see, the topic of the discussions is the role of navigator on family outings. Each of the three children wants to play the role of navigator and I will gladly trade the front seat with one of them, any of them so I can dodge this mammoth task.
Many people are born with a shocking sense of direction. Some people couldn’t find their way out of a paper bag with a compass and a map. Others could find their way in the dark, blindfolded and walking backwards. They are like homing pigeons. I, unfortunately belong to the former group. My husband, on the other hand, is shockingly talented when it comes to all things navigational. He got us safely around France once upon a time when our Sat Nav lost signal and continues to baffle me with his uncanny ability to instinctively know just which way to go. My talents obviously lie in other areas. Thankfully the children seem to have inherited his sense of direction and ability to read maps and follow instructions. So much so in fact that each of them wants the challenge of negotiating us around unfamiliar territory and unusual routes. I am quite happy to take a back seat, literally, and let them fight it out. They are learning the art of teamwork, compromise and cooperation as they allocate time slots and roads to each other and it generally works out quite well. I am happy as a clam safely out of the way in the back seat where I can’t get us lost.
Directions to me are what complicated words are to the severely dyslexic. I would need to do a journey quite a few times before I am able to remember it. It’s ridiculous. Maybe there is such a thing as directional dyslexia. Or maybe it’s just me. If I am venturing out alone for whatever reason to an as of yet unexplored place, my husband is convinced he’ll never see me again. In all other areas of life I am generally considered a fully functioning human being but directions send me into a tailspin. I avoid offering to drive the teenagers to matches, but will always attend the home ones. So believe me, all the other team parents, I am not being rude I will just undoubtedly get lost somewhere along the way and your children may well be late for said match, if they arrive at all.
The children are becoming quite adept at getting us safely to new places. They are able to interpret directions, navigate around detours and generally have an innate sense of where they are heading. However, is the constant use of the Sat Nav or Google Maps messing up their own instincts for navigation, as when they are paying attention to directions on a screen are they interfering with their natural abilities? I have no idea and no intention of finding out either because if they don’t continue in their quest to be the best family navigator it will become my responsibility and we will spend the rest of our days driving around the roundabout just one more time..