This is a transcript of the podcast Distraction, your survival guide to our crazy-busy, ever-connected modern world hosted by Dr. Edward Hallowell, ADHD expert. Dr. Hallowell talks with his son about the memories they made growing up on Lake Doolittle and why you need a getaway.
DR. HALLOWELL: Hi. This is Dr. Ned Hallowell and welcome to our Mini Distraction. These are tailored for people who don’t have much time. I guess that means everybody. These are like our regular show, only they’re a lot shorter. They’re mini distractions. I’m here today with my son, Tucker, who’s now 20 years old, a sophomore at Trinity College and, for today’s mini, I thought we’d talk about our summer vacations, where we went for many years to a little lake in Norfolk, Connecticut called, appropriately enough, Doolittle.
Why You Need a Getaway
The reason I’m playing you this is that we all need a Lake Doolittle, be it real or metaphorical. If you don’t have a lake house you go to, it may be your back yard. It may be a place in the park where you like to go. It may be your favorite chair in your living room where you curl up with a book. Wherever it is, you need, we all need, particularly in today’s highly distracted world, a place where we can reliably go that is distraction free, interruption free, where we can focus on what really matters to us and what really nurtures us. For my family, it was Lake Doolittle. Do you remember that, Tucker?
Tucker: Of course. I mean, how could I forget? It goes way back to when I was born up until I was 12 years old. I can remember every year as clearly as yesterday.
DR. HALLOWELL: What do you remember particularly?
Tucker: I remember waking up in the morning and seeing my dad jumping into the lake every single morning, “Woohoohoohoo! Refreshing! Refreshing!” because the water was so damn cold. I would come down sometimes and join him but, oftentimes, a little bit too cold for me.
DR. HALLOWELL: And you all made fun of me for saying, “Refreshing! Refreshing!”
Tucker: Refreshing, that was your favorite. That was your favorite line.
DR. HALLOWELL: It was very cold.
Tucker: But it was a great routine. I would usually see that. I’d be up early, young, head to the tennis club, play some tennis, play some golf, and then my dad would join me for a round of golf. That was really when I picked up golf, and me and my dad kind of bonded over that for many years. Still do.
DR. HALLOWELL: Remember riding in the golf cart?
Tucker: Yeah, how could I forget? Riding in the golf cart, him saying, “Doodly, doodly, doodly, do.”
DR. HALLOWELL: And then when no one was looking, I’d let you drive it. Remember that?
Tucker: Exactly. Of course.
DR. HALLOWELL: And then the old guys in the club would get mad at us if they saw us?
Tucker: The old guys would always get mad at us if they saw us. Those were the best times.
DR. HALLOWELL: Remember looking for frogs in the lake?
Tucker: I remember walking down, early in the morning, down the dock. Right to the right of the dock, there was this nice patch of rocks, kind of slippery, but I was athletic enough to make it across, and there were always these little frogs. Me and my brother would really make it a challenge for ourselves. We’d go in, we’d really kind of creep up, grab the frogs, and then we’d keep them for a little bit. We’d keep them in a little jar and play with them for a little bit, but then Jack always had his line, “We have to let the froggies go” because frogs were always his favorite animal back in the day.
DR. HALLOWELL: Jack’s three years older than Tucker, so Jack sort of was in charge.
Tucker: Exactly. Jack was definitely in charge.
DR. HALLOWELL: Remember climbing those trees around the lake?
Tucker: I remember one time when there was an enormous storm and I was telling Jack, “Maybe we should go inside! Maybe we should go inside!” Jack said, “No, No. I think I’m going to climb this tree.” I said, “Jack, is that the best idea?” and he said, “Oh, it’s fine. It’s fine.” and then, little do I know, five minutes later, he’s at the top of the tree and I’m running inside looking for Mom, being like, “Jack’s at the top of the tree! He’s at the top of the tree!” Dad comes out …
DR. HALLOWELL: I remember that so well. I had a heart attack practically. I mean, this was not a small tree.
Tucker: No, this was about a 50-foot tree.
DR. HALLOWELL: He’s in the very tippy-top branch. He’s looking down at us with the wind blowing and saying, “Look at me, Dad!”
Tucker: And then, of course, all the Wiffle ball games that we had. It was like almost as if the yard was perfectly played out for a Wiffle ball game. The first base, the first tree, second base up at the cabin, third base over by the bushes. I literally remember the entire house, the entire yard, the entire driveway that you used to let me drive down, sit on your lap and drive. Everything, like it’s…
DR. HALLOWELL: The driveway was like a couple of miles, remember?
Tucker: Yeah, exactly.
DR. HALLOWELL: You would sit on my lap. That’s where you learned how to drive.
Tucker: I mean, yeah, exactly. For better or for worse. Not the best driver today, but …
DR. HALLOWELL: Remember grilling outside there?
Tucker: Oh, of course. I mean, these are the things I just can’t forget, like that patio, all those cracks in the patio, you know? I remember everything. I mean, that place, you know, it really shaped my childhood. It shaped the way that you wanted to have for us. It was a place where we went and we didn’t have electronics, we didn’t have …
Didn’t Miss the Electronics
DR. HALLOWELL: How much did you miss the electronics?
Tucker: Not in the slightest. It was like our perfect getaway. And it was unheard of. It would be like, “Where are you going?” “I’m going to Norfolk, Connecticut and going to Lake Doolittle.” People would be like, “What the hell is that?” I’d be like, “You’ll never know because it’s too special.”
It was really, back to what I was saying, it really emulates what you wanted for us. You wanted us to have this childhood that you never had, and that’s the perfect picture for it. It’s not like it was a whole lot of money. You guys didn’t throw a whole lot of money to go on this amazing vacation. It was just this perfect little quaint lake house, and we could just be ourselves and grow and mature. All these memories, they all are just still there. We haven’t been there since I was 12, but they all are so clear in my mind. Oh man, there’s just no forgetting stuff like that. It’s just the perfect depiction of how my childhood went. I mean, there’s no better way to say it. It was extremely special, and I hope that I can give my kids one day something like that.
DR. HALLOWELL: It was wonderful for Mom and me, that’s for sure, and to see you guys love it so much.
DR. HALLOWELL: We’d arrive, and we’d just open the car door and you guys would run off into the lake.
Tucker: Yeah, we’d open the car door, we’d all take our bags, run up, throw, throw, put on our bathing suits or our boxers. Jack always wanted to swim in his boxers, and we jumped right into the water. It was great. We had friends down there, friends that we still have today, and a great community there. It really became like a home away from home for a long time. When we stopped going, I think it was the right time to stop going, not that we outgrew it, but I think that we did what we needed to do there. It was the perfect amount of time for us all and, once we left, we still hold these memories. We didn’t resent not going back, and we all understood. We were all growing, and now I just have this amazing memory to hold forever, and that’s just so special.
DR. HALLOWELL: Thank you, Tucker. That’s really wonderful. The lake did all and more than I wanted it to do.
Tucker: Yeah. More, I think, yeah. I think it was more than anything you and Mom could have expected or even know today. I mean, I still talk about it to people all the time today. People say, it sounds like your regular lake house. No, no, you’ve got to come. You’ve got to see it. It’s more than just a lake house. It’s my childhood right there. It’s my memories.
DR. HALLOWELL: Even as a cynical 20-year-old.
Tucker: Even as a cynical 20-year-old, I can sit here and talk about how great just a nice little quaint lake was.
DR. HALLOWELL: Yeah. That’s wonderful. Well, thank you so much for joining me today on this podcast.
Tucker: Of course.
DR. HALLOWELL: We’ll have you as a guest again.
Tucker: That’s fantastic.
DR. HALLOWELL: Thank you, Tucker.
Tucker: I look forward to it.
DR. HALLOWELL: Thank you.
Tucker: Thank you very much.
DR. HALLOWELL: That’s it. If you have an issue, a question or a suggestion, call us toll-free at 844-55-CONNECT or email at [email protected]ast.com, or go to our website at distractionpodcast.com. To hear more mini- and full-length episodes, subscribe to distraction on iTunes, and thanks so much for listening.
This is a transcript of the podcast Distraction, “What’s Your Lake Doolittle, and Why Do You Need One?”. Distraction is available on iTunes.