When the eldest turned 16 he received a key chain and a Thomas Guide for our area. He came to know his map book as a delivery driver for a Thai restaurant.
Two and a half years later when the middle turned 16 our parents gave him his own key chain, and the eldest gave him a brand new Thomas Guide. The middle is the most like our dad. His natural sense of direction and ability to know his way around probably meant his map book was a little less used.
And the following year when I turned 16, our parents presented me with my key chain, and the middle gave me my own Thomas Guide.
I don’t remember explicit lessons in map reading. It was probably one of the many things I picked up when I was afraid my brothers were getting in on something without me. Maps seemed like an outgrowth of our cars; they were just there and our fingers found their way to our destination as if drawn by magnets.
My first purchase over a decade later when I moved to another state was a new Thomas Guide for my new city. And now back in the city of my childhood, I keep local and state maps at arms’ reach.
Sure there is newer technology than spiral-bound maps but there’s security in knowing I can reach behind my seat and grab my own atlas to chart a new course at any moment.
This post is part of the 31 Days: Family series. Read the beginning, and see a full index of posts, here.