Traveling With The Goon

My wife and I have executed the SINGLE GREATEST SURPRISE in the history of our family. For the last two months, we’ve been planning an epic family vacation. We were going to take the kids to Walt Disney World.

Easter Sunday was the day and the secret was unspoiled. We enlisted the 15-year old, AKA C-Dog, in the weeks leading up to the trip. Great job all the way around. The trip to Walt Disney World (AKA Whiskey-Delta-Whiskey, Walter D. White’s house, or some other codeword designed for maximum OpSec against the elementary school crowd) remained a surprise until we woke the Noodle and the Goon (ages 7 and 5, respectively) Easter morning and told them to get dressed because they were going to see Mickey Mouse.

My wife (the Queen) and I had sketched out a broad plan for the actual travel. Flying on Southwest, our seats were not assigned. We figured that we would each pair up with one of the little guys and allow the C-Dog to sit with either of us. (Or 15 rows away, if his brothers had really annoyed him on the drive to the airport.) As it turned out once we got on the plane, my traveling companion was the Goon. Oh boy.

Sunday marked the Goon’s first trip on an airplane. (His prior trip in Mommy’s belly notwithstanding.) He was eager and ready to go. You could see it. All you had to do was look at him. In the window seat waiting for takeoff, the grin never left his face. He was leaning forward, body poised, as we discussed the plane and how it would take us to our adventure. His excitement never faded during the 2 1/2 hour flight.

What a difference from a few hours earlier. During the course of the 90 minute ride to the airport, his fears were apparent. He wanted us to turn the car around. Take him home. He forgot something he needs back at the house. (He’s 5. What could he possibly need?)

But he really had no choice. Seriously- nothing was going to disrupt this trip. My wife and I have been together for 11 years and I found out two months ago that it has been her LIFE LONG DREAM to go to Walt Disney World. Eleven years and I only just found that out! What other secrets lurk beneath that beautiful exterior?  🙂

Maybe that was the secret to the Goon’s panache-he had to do it. And once he started doing it, he realized that there was nothing to his fears. They were empty shells. A menacing facade with nothing backing it up. If he was an adult- independent and the master of his course- would he have turned his car around? Maybe.

It got me thinking- how many times have I made a choice based on my own fear of the unknown? Good question. I certainly don’t ever remember dreaming about a career in insurance…

Listen- it’s never too late. You ARE the captain of your ship. I’ve been writing- publishing my material here, unafraid. Are you going to allow a nonsensical fear from your reptilian brain stop you from embarking on a grand adventure?

C’mon- man up! Act like a five-year old!



Filed under Essays

5 responses to “Traveling With The Goon


    Todd this is a great post, very descriptive, the reader can feel The Goon’s excitement etc. And I like that you turned it into a message of don’t let your fears stop you, just get out there and do it. If I can offer one point for future…..

    The title; traveling with the goon, while a catchy title, it seems your point of the blog is that we need to let go of our fears and do it – not really about traveling with the goon. if it were me, and it isn’t, I would have made my title more like: Lesson from the goon or Five year olds and fear…. or something like that. Just my opinion. I enjoyed the blog post. Felt like I was next to him on the plane. Nonni

    • Thanks Nonni! Fair feedback.

      (FYI- I made one edit to your comment to change his name to ‘The Goon’ as i don’t use the boys’ names directly in the blog.)

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  3. Thomas Nelson

    Great post

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