Tonight we are nestled in at home after a nearly two week road trip. We gathered our eight week old and two and a half year old and drove 2565 miles east to introduce David's 91 year old grandma to her great grandchildren.
I thought we had possibly lost our minds for taking the trip. I still kind of do. But despite the bone aching exhaustion I feel such gratitude for the memories we made along the way. We've never really traveled for pleasure, only for touring and work. This year, before our world erupted with pregnancy complications and trauma, we vowed to take a trip this summer as a family. I feel we are at risk of falling asleep in our lives a bit, lulled by the mundane routines and Groundhog Day nature of kid schedules, time-starved by the demands of work and adulting. But we did it. We packed the kids and the kitchen sink and drove away. We went on vacation.
Visiting friends along the way, we planned stops for Bea to explore, play and run free. This will always be the trip where she went barefoot whenever possible, and we let her. The trip where she ate ice cream for the first time. We'll remember seeing car travel through the eyes of a pre-schooler, who doesn't understand why we can't stop every time she sees a cow. Letting go of our tight grip on kid sleep and food schedules, we opened ourselves up to enjoying the adventure before us. We looked in Hollis' eyes and marveled every single day at the miracle of our family.
Was it all idyllic and perfect? Nah. I dropped my phone in the toilet. Twice. There were toddler meltdowns. And eight hour car rides that took twelve. There were fun outings I planned that we couldn't make happen, poop blow-outs and an embarrassing amount of in the car screen time. I mean, I could recite whole episodes of Daniel Tiger to you. We ate a lot of fast food. It was sometimes stressful and extremely sleep-depriving.
But it was ours. Our little imperfect beautiful family road trip. David hugged his grandma for what could be the last time. She told him he was a great dad. She's right, he is. Our children met their great-grandma, she read with Bea and cradled Hollis. I don't regret a single productive life thing that got put on hold while we were gone. My to do list is still here waiting for me and I'm none the worse for it.
Why am I telling you all this? I'm not sure, actually. Except that I hope you'll go when all your comforts say stay. Wake up. Live. Pack up your loved ones and take an adventure. I'm so glad we did.