We Suck at Road Trips

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I truly am thankful for many things in my life: my husband, my boys, our life together. But on a lighter note, I'm also thankful for something else: the fact that we don't take many family road trips. Why? Because I'm thinking that we suck at them.

When I ask my friends and family how their latest trip with their young children went, the most common response is "fine." I always want to say, "Really? Fine?" Because that's not how I would describe our trips. "Harrowing" is actually the word that comes to mind.

road trips suckFor example, take our recent trip from Dallas/Fort Worth to Amarillo, Texas to see my in-laws. This trip took us nine hours. Nine long hours. Trapped in the car. With a 3-year-old who will not sleep in the car, and a 1-year-old who hates his car seat. Not pretty.

At one point during the trip, I looked in the backseat, and then I wished that I hadn't. The 3-year-old was tossing his body side to side in his car seat (as much as the restraints would allow him), making some guttural noises and staring upwards. I could see the baby, who was screaming in his rear-facing car seat, kicking his little feet and reaching both hands upward. With me praying and my kids peering/reaching for the heavens, It was if we were all seeking some sort of divine deliverance from the trip.

The whole trip seemed to have that level of let-me-out-of-here-I'm-going-crazy intensity, which is why I felt exhausted when it was over. And yet, there were many good points. Like when I made my son's stuffed Ewok "dance" to his favorite Veggie Tales CD, and he giggled like crazy. Or when we all sang songs together as we drove. Or when I saw my son's face light up when we finally arrived at Nana's and Papa's.

All in all, it was a bit of a tough trip. Totally worth it, but tough. I trust our road trips will get easier as the boys grow bigger, and that we'll get better at them with practice. But I have to say, if nothing else, our recent road trips have totally made an old adage even more meaningful: there really is no place like home.

Photo Credit: fred goldstein.


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