Driver makes parenting, nurturing daughter a priority, even on the road.
At two-years-old Evelyn is already starting to recognize words. She even sings along to nursery rhyme songs. It’s the result of a nighttime reading routine thanks to her father, driver Dane Christensen, and his wife, Kim, who make sure there is time for a story, even when daddy isn’t there.
Dane works as part of a sleeper team out of CACH, near Chicago, but makes time daily to be an active parent while traveling on the road. He schedules his driving time so he is able to read to Evelyn each night.
Having a routine in place, Evelyn’s bedtime is at 8:30 p.m. Dane shared that either he or his wife, Kim, would call each other around 8:25 p.m. and start the evening with “Where’s daddy?”
“We have a map, like the school maps…states are different colors and fun. We have ones of those up on the wall. It has a little UPS truck on it.”
Dane says Evelyn and Kim move a passport size photo of him on the map to the state he is calling from. After a quick break to brush her teeth, it’s time for three songs and a story. As of late, Evelyn’s favorite story is The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. Her top ‘jams’ include: Itsy Bitsy Spider, Moon Moon Moon, and This Little Piggy, with an occasional Row Row Row Your Boat making her playlist cut.
Dane started the routine of reading to Evelyn when he became a sleeper team driver for UPS in September 2019. Regularly reading to Evelyn benefits her cognitive recollection and it already shows.
Evelyn recognizes books and sifts through the pile of books in her room to pick her own read for the night. “For a while Brown Bear, Brown Bear was one of her favorite books, and she goes “Brown Bear,” and then she would hand it to me or her mother,” Dane said.
During the weekends when Dane is home, he and Kim keep their routine of reading and singing with Evelyn before bed. It’s a routine he believes in, “If we have any other children, I’m going to do it the exact same way.”
Although Dane and his driving partner travel 5,337 miles for four to five days out of the week, through 11 mid-west and east coast states, it is worth it to Dane. This position allows him to spend more quality time with his family, in comparison to his prior job. “I actually get to see my family more often now, because I’m home for solid days.”
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