Are We There Yet?//a personal story written by my dad


i have the coolest dad.
he is good.
and he is handsome. 
and he is funny. 
and he writes the best, regular emails to his kids.
he archives them on a blog, and i will cherish those stories all my life.

this was the email we all got in our inboxes Sunday morning. 
it was a letter he sent to my nephew who is in his first few weeks of bootcamp.
those first few weeks are reputably the most challenging and family is encouraged to write letters to help keep their spirits up.

i think this letter from cowboy grandpa 'ought to do the trick.
it sure did it for me.
my dad (far left) with his brothers and dad after a cattle drive in Wyoming
"Dear Justin,
Years ago your mother was going to drive you boys to Utah by herself. I decided to go with you and help drive. I instructed her to bring you boys over to our house the night before because I wanted to get started about 4:00 A.M. It was our hope to just lift you all in the back of the Suburban while you were asleep and have you wake up in Flagstaff for breakfast at McDonalds.  The plan was working well for about two blocks. When I stopped at the light at University and Mesa Drive you appeared over the seat and asked, “Are we there yet?”  
We were not. 
We still had 600 miles to go.

You may remember the trip. We stopped on the reservation and walked over some of the moonscape type rolling hills. When we stopped at the Lake Powell dam visitors center you all got wet in the little pools outside the visitors center. Somewhere in southern Utah we saw an inviting stream so I stopped again and we all went wading in the stream. Your mother had to deal with wet cloths each time we stopped but we had fun.

It is not uncommon for young children to ask several hundred times on a long trip ‘Are we there yet?’  When you get my age you will find that you have asked that question thousands of times and it is not just about a long trip. 
It is about life in general and the answer is --No we are not there yet. We often think that our happiness will be at the end of the trip and that is only partly true. Happiness has to be found along the way every day or it will indeed be a long and boring trip. 

While you are in ‘boot camp’ I trust that you will be asking several times every day --‘Are we there yet?’. I am proud of this new phase of your life. We are all proud. It is OK during these few weeks to ask ‘ARE WE THERE YET DAMMIT?’  After that it is just ‘Are we there yet?' 
Enjoy the trip.  

Grandpa Bagley"


Lela Boyd said...

That letter was pure awesomeness! What a simple yet profound and poignant message. Love!

Rach said...

I love this!! Such wise advice :) I love cowboy grandpas.
Thanks for sharing! :)

Anonymous said...

You are one of the luckiest persons on earth for having a cool dad. Although I and my dad are not that close, I am still proud to have him. However, I still wish I could have one like your dad or wish my dad to be like him. Thanks for the inspiration.

from Amber Stone at Online PhD UK Degree Programs

Jonna Pantelis said...

What a blessing to have someone like that in your life! I can only imagine how inspirational your Dad is. My Dad is a retired veteran, he served almost 40 years in the Army and I'm pretty sure that letter would have been appreciated by many going through boot camp.
Thanks for sharing!

© i believe in unicorns. Maira Gall.