Friday, May 18, 2012


A road trip awaits.Tomorrow morning we will begin a journey.
Two parents...five crazy adventure...
Two to five...we're painfully outnumbered... 
Lee's Summit, MO to Chicago, IL...530 miles
Chicago, IL to Hilton Head, SC... 1012 miles
Hilton Head, SC to Mt. Airy, GA...330 miles
Mt. Airy, GA to Lee's Summit, MO...864 miles
Lee's Summit to the nearest crazy farm...

Gas for 2736 miles...$550.00
Food for seven people for 10 days...$600.00
Beach souvenirs...$100.00
Memories...questionable...I mean, priceless...

Memories WILL be made.
The verdict's still out on whether the memories will provoke laughter or tears, but there's no dispute that memories will be made. 

From the moment we open our eyes, there will be opportunity (in close quarters) for arguments.
From the moment the car starts, someone will be offending another person in the car. 
From the moment we hit the road, a leg will be touching another's leg.
Mom.  Moooommmy.  Mama.   Mooooom.   Mamamamama.  
Children, your father's also in the car, why don't you solicit his help. 
DAAAAD.  Mooommy.   DAAADAAAA.    Mama.  Daddy.  Maaaammmaaa.  Daaaaaddy.
Daaaad.  Daaaaad.   Mom.  Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom.        
On and on and on.
And then we'll pull out of the neighborhood...
No escape.   We're trapped.    

I'm tempted by the occasional fantasy of a clear, plastic, sound-proof divider that separates the front seat from the back seats.   You know, like the limo window.  
I can see them, but I can't hear them.  
I imagine looking in the back seat as my husband and I share uninterrupted time finishing one of the four hundred discussions we have yet to finish...
I'm probably sipping a cappucino...he a cup of coffee...eighties music softly plays in the background...
I may see tears, red faces, glaring, some kicking, slapping, mouths opening yelling at me...
With a look of deep regret and sorrow, I point at my ears and mouth the words,
I can't hear you.  So sorry.  Wish I could hear you. 
I sort of imagine shaking my head as though it breaks my heart that I can't help.   The look that conveys to them, I really wish I could help, but this terrible divider that someone installed prevents me from intervening.
I'd take a sip of my cappucino and slyly turn up Jessie's Girl a little higher.

I'd love to miss the arguing, the "she's touching me," the kicking, crying, whining, the "I'm staaarving," the slapping, the pushing, the glaring, the complaints. 
I'd love to miss that.  

But if I couldn't hear into the back seat, I'd miss a lot more than that. 
I'd miss the 2nd grader reading the kindergartener a book. 
I'd miss the teenager pointing out the horses to the baby. 
I'd miss the brothers talking about the latest airsoft battle plan.  
I'd miss the sisters telling stories about their polly pockets.
I'd miss the slug bug game. 
I'd miss the "oohhing" and "ahhhing" over the St. Louis Arch.  
I'd miss the story the teenager just remembered about last week's field day. 
I'd miss the eleven-year-old telling about his favorite part in The Avengers.
I'd miss the baby giggling.  I'd miss the girls' laughter.   I'd miss the boys' terrible jokes. 
I'd miss them all singing along with us to Jessie's Girl. (We know...we know...inappropriate song.)

The bitter and the sweet of life fused together into one, big family on a road trip.

Here's my advice for my kids for the trip:    
Pick 25 offenses every day to overlook.
Take a deep breath and show grace.
On the 26th offense, come talk to us.    
Surely they'll lose count.

It will be wise for me to follow my own advice this trip...
Don't tell, but I'm more excited about this trip than I should be...
My favorite people all stuck together for ten days...
I truly can't wait...