adjective: performed or occurring as a result of a sudden inner impulse or inclination and without premeditation or external stimulus.
Our son and grandson were in Vancouver last week, exploring one of British Columbia's prettiest cities prior to boarding a cruise ship headed to Alaska. It's a Senior Graduation trip for our grandson (and a bucket list item for our son).
When Barb and I go on a trip, I have a notebook full of schedules, maps, time-tables, telephone numbers and emergency contacts. And duplicate documents reside on my iPad. And some of them also reside on a thumb drive that I carry on my key chain. The travel book, in all its forms, is the culmination of a well-developed, time-tested check list that currently has 54 items to tick off before we're ready to go. I am a nervous traveler, and I am NOT spontaneous.
But the title quote about spontaneity was not from me. It was from my son, and because he is my son this trip was just as carefully scripted. I didn't see his check list, but I did see his folder. This trip was carefully scripted, with all the stops, sights and attractions carefully arranged and in good order.
I'm proud of him.
So it was a little surprising to receive a message with a photo of a soccer game getting underway between the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Portland Timbers. Obviously they were at the game - and I knew it was not on the itinerary. The accompanying text said, "This is what happens when you vacation with a son who says, as you walk past the stadium, "Hey look, they're playing. You want to go?" And it was followed by another text that said, "You guys need to know I am NOT spontaneous!!"
I'm not exactly sure why, but this brought to mind a moment of spontaneity... on the part of my father. I would not describe my father as a spontaneous person, though I recognize from my own behavior that age has a great deal to with spontaneity, so I may not know the whole story. Nevertheless. One evening in 1955 or 1956, my father, mother and I were returning to Breckenridge from a week-end visit with my aunt in Fort Worth. It was probably a Sunday evening, and as we approached the outskirts of Mineral Wells at dusk, my father saw that the movie "Oklahoma" was showing at a drive-in theater. He pulled in, paid the attendant, and we watched Curly woo Laurey away from Jud (poor Jud) with song and dance!
I thought my mother was going to get out and start walking home.
The conversation was brief, but intense, and I suspect there was a paucity of conversation for the next week or so, but my father - who was not much of a movie-goer - wanted to see Oklahoma, and it was showing at a drive-in near us, and it was the right time of the evening, so we stopped to watch it.
And so it was that my son and his son were passing a stadium, and secretly they always wanted to watch a professional soccer game, and it was the right time of the evening, so they turned in, paid the attendant and watched it. And nobody threatened to walk home.
I'm proud of them.