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The Best Of Both Worlds

It’s often described as a tightrope but that’s not terribly accurate; there is no risk of falling off either side.

This period of life, the immeasurable, undefinable, delicate space between childhood and young adulthood, is more akin to finding yourself in the middle of a meadow.

It can be peaceful and pleasant but also foreboding. All depends on the direction of the wind and the light or absence thereof.

The meadow in the midst of youth and growing up is a vast space between two distinctly different environments — the lush forest up ahead to the left with flora and fauna but with less light seeping through a thick canopy and downed branches to lift feet high up and over to clear comfortably, and rolling hills dotted with sandboxes, faded pastel plastic toys, ladder ball, and four square courts off to the right and slightly behind.

The lions, tigers and bears back there are filled not with a fear of us but a quilted softness.

In this clearing, not everything ahead or behind is clearly visible. No one tends this meadow, not exactly — it’s left wild which is what makes it wonderful albeit daunting to navigate at times; there are pricker bushes, tall grasses, and more than a handful of birds of prey circling above. Occasionally one will swoop down with a thunderous approach and with no fair warning — everyone needs to eat.


There’s a black and white one with colorful eyes, and people who see it say “she looks 20!” or “they grow up too quickly” or “how did she get so old?”

best of both worlds childhood and Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid

They aren’t wrong but the girl I see right this minute is cuddled up in otter pajamas watching little kid cartoon reruns with her younger sister. Straightness of hair, freshness of breathe, and time of day are of no concern. They laugh at all the same jokes from underneath a heated blanket on too high a setting for the temperature of the room.

The young woman I saw last night wore a burgundy leather jacket, tight black jeans with intentional rips strategically placed down her right leg, sparkling lip gloss, and fierce combat boots that announce her arrival with an aggression belying her passive nature. She was 6 feet tall with her back arched, moving with a swagger I personally have never had the wherewithal to own. Last night she stepped nearer the woods.

The 14-going-on-20-but-still-back-at-7-year-old is in the middle of this meadow. I’m there with her, alongside and holding her hand periodically, other times I lag a step behind her confident gait. We’re going forward and back, side to side, soaking up new freedoms, and observing the warmth of the sun on her changing face.

This is the best of both worlds, for a child and her dad.


To internet onlookers it appears as though we are never home.

It’s Spain, Norway, D.C., California, and NYC.

It’s Florida, Detroit, Colorado, Boston, Belize.

The truth is that the lion’s share of our family life is lived within two concentric circles, each only about 10 miles in diameter, with our humble home situated squarely in the middle of it all.

It’s school and back.

It’s Target and back.

It’s the bank, library, grocery store, gym, hiking trail, shoe store again because feet grow as swiftly as the wind blows here in the meadow, and back.

For all this, we run on battery almost exclusively.

best of both worlds childhood and Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid

But yes, Instagram doesn’t lie — at least not mine — we have been known to make a break for it up to NYC on a whim to invest in childhood at a Broadway show, to D.C. for a weekend to fight for equality, to my parents 45-minutes east so that we might celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays with family. This summer we’ll head up to Maine. We’ll surely be back to New York City before long too.

For all of that, and more, we run on gas primarily, devoid of range anxiety, comfortable in knowing we can keep going, together, deeper into the woods up ahead.

best of both worlds childhood and Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid

The Kia Optima Plug-In-Hybrid allows for electric driving, about 26 miles worth on a full charge. With this you can circumnavigate your own concentric circles of everyday life without spending as much as a pair of dimes for the pleasure and functionality. There’s also the Optima’s hybrid gas engine, so that you and your growing people can take off for wild, unpredictable adventures far from home.

This car, like this most delicate age of life, is the best of both worlds for a family who shuttles between here and there, from the familiarity of childhood around the corner to the promise of young adulthood up ahead.

best of both worlds childhood and Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid

*OWTK is a Kia Partner. We were in the Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid and received compensation for this story. All opinions expressed above are honest and unbiased, as always. This time of life and this car are each the best of both worlds.

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