Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

We just got back from a 15 hour road trip to West Virginia. Yes, 15 hours. Well, technically it was a 12 hour drive, but with all of the stops, it took us 15 hours each way. That was 30 hours in the car with my children in a 5 day span.

Rob was leading worship at an annual conference in Charleston, WV. My in-laws live in Parkersburg, WV, so we went along for the ride and visited Granddaddy and Mamaw while Rob was at his conference.

I shall break down our trip into three parts.

-Visiting Bennett and Will's grandparents. It was absolutely wonderful to see them. They aren't able to travel much, so this was a real treat. They have only seen Will twice since he was born and so we were thrilled to see them.

-We stayed in a hotel b/c my in-laws recently downsized and moved into a small apartment. The good thing about this was getting to snuggle with my Will at night. Bennett slept in the other bed and Will refused to sleep in his pack and play, so I slept for 4 nights with his little body curled up against mine and his hand resting on my back. Heaven.

-Creating wonderful memories of Granddaddy on the floor playing airplane with the kids, of Mamaw cooking their favorite foods, of long games of hide and seek, and of just being together as a family. Rob's father is in the early stage of Alzheimer's so it was especially meaningful to see him interacting with his grandchildren and loving on them so much. The quality time with him alone was worth the whole trip.

The Bad
-My son throwing up all over the Continental Breakfast at the hotel 5 minutes before we were to leave for church. I had to throw him in jeans and a wrinkled shirt for a very formal church service. And I had to drag him away from his beloved pancakes which made him scream and cause my lovely neighbor in Room 321 to knock on the walls in annoyance.

-Did I mention it was a 15 hour car ride? Did I mention we did it twice in 5 days?

The Ugly
-Bennett deciding one night that she had to sleep with me and Will. The two of them in the same bed caused them to get second winds and laugh for 2 hours. Until midnight. Will kicked me repeatedly just because he thought it was funny and Bennett sang Edelweiss at the top of her lungs for an hour. We heard several poundings on the wall that night. Apparently, Room 321 was not happy. Neither was Mommy. I hid under the covers and prayed for it all to go away. It did not.

-Some kids traveling with a youth soccer team stayed in our hotel and they decided to run down the hall and pound on our door THREE times waking us up each time. Mama was about grab a shot gun.

-Will and Bennett fighting like cats and dogs over whether or not to watch Tangled (Bennett's choice) or Baby Einstein (Will's choice.) Of course these fights occurred in the hotel as I was desperately trying to give them something to settle them down so I could brush my teeth and get ready for bed. It clearly didn't work. Room 321 was about to call child protective services. I wouldn't have blamed him.

The Verdict

I would do it again in a heartbeat. It may seem crazy and insane while I'm in the middle of it, but I love it. I love the family time together and the chaos and just the pure madness of it all. I love singing songs in the car together, I love watching Bennett and Will learn about new places, I love crossing state lines and explaining where we are, I love reading books to them in the car, and I love the way Bennett always wants to stop and eat at Cracker Girl (Hmmmmm....maybe I shouldn't admit that. She really does mean to say Barrel.)

Anyway, I had better love it. We have an 18 hour drive coming up this summer to Washington DC, then a 12 hour drive down to Alabama, and then a 14 hour drive home to Kansas. The good news? My kids have been in more states than I had been in by the time I was 20. Trying to look on the bright side, friends. It's either that or a lot of medication.

The Footnote

This trip had obviously been planned for a long time. Way before we knew that anything would happen to Kirby. It was so unfortunate that we had to leave Meg only 6 days after he passed away. Needless to say I was worried about her the whole time. When we got home, Rob and I both noticed that she had gotten significantly whiter around the mouth and our neighbor who was taking care of her said that she didn't eat for 4 days. :-( Sigh..... But she was thrilled when we came home and I am happy to report that her appetite is back to normal.

I hope my neighbor in Room 321 is home as well recovering from his maddening stay next to the Webster crazy house. I should send him a fruit basket.

Pics to come soon!


starnes family said...

Recommendation: Skip the fruit basket and send/bring a bottle of liquor next time. Might help.

Yay! Yay! Yay! So impressed with families who will drive/fly/travel long distances, through tough challenges, with young children. It IS all worth it. And, you won't regret it.

Love you guys!

Brittny said...

Um, Sophie informed me yesterday that she wants us to start calling her Cracker. I didn't know what to say.

I'm glad you had a good/decent/worth it trip and more importantly that you survived!!!

Erin said...

Cousin, I think I am able to leave you comments now! I hope this works. I promise, I read your blog every day- I just haven't been able to leave a comment for some weird blogger reason. So glad you had a good trip, despite a few small snafoos along the way. Now, you just need to get down here to Bama to see me!!!