Friday, August 31, 2012

Are We There Yet? On the Road Again


We woke up bright and early, but with nothing missing which was a beautiful feeling.  Then we packed up all the stuff that had been spread out all over Uncle J’s giant, beautiful home, which took entirely too long.  Fortunately, I got to duck out on some of that packing fun because Aunt R had asked me to take some portraits of cousin L.  It was the least I could do in return for their amazing hospitality (several days of house guests involving a family of 7 and two giant dogs is not undertaken lightly).  Compared to my five little beasties, taking pictures of L was easy, breezy, beautiful. 
 I have lots of them, but have only edited the one below.  They're sort of on the back burner for now.  But this one is my favorite. 
 And I love these ones, too.
And the lighting was just too amazing to pass up one last opportunity to catch some parting shots.
 I have to say that this photo is very representative of Aunt R.  She is so very welcoming that you can't help but enjoy being around her.
And she's lots and lots of fun, so the kids totally adore her.  I get why they made her primary president to a whole slew of kids at church.
We were supposed to take pictures with this sign all along the way during our road trip.  But we forgot, until now.  I can't imagine what was distracting us . . .

And now that it was nearly lunch time, we finally finished loading the van and strapped everyone in.  It was seriously depressing to think that we still have two whole weeks until we’ll be in our new home with our belongings.  We toyed with the idea of staying longer in Chicago, but sometimes you just know when it’s time to go.  And for us, today, it was time to go.  We wouldn’t ever want to wear out our welcome.  And with our rowdy crew, that would be very easy to do.

Since we had a little time to kill anyway, we took the longer route so we could drive up the scenic route into Virginia.  We figured it was a good way to get a feel for the area and begin to develop a sense of appreciation for this new place we’d be living.  This is going to be a whole new experience for our family—a new place to love and explore, a place to build a new life and home for ourselves.  What better way to begin than to spend a couple of days driving through the beautiful countryside out here?

Shaggy and I enjoyed the rolling hills covered with thick, thriving green vegetation.  The kids were completely unimpressed.  We had to force them to look out the windows.  And our exclamations over the beauty surrounding us fell on deaf ears.  Maybe they’ve just seen too much in a short amount of time and can’t really process it.  Or, they’re just kids and they haven’t yet honed their ability to truly appreciate the beautiful things that come along.  Either way, they spent the majority of the drive pointedly ignoring us or rolling their eyes.
Somewhere in Kentucky, we happened to stumble upon a Chick-fil-A right around dinner time.  We’ve been pretty out of the loop as far as news goes lately, but we had heard some little snippets about Chick-fil-A’s values not being Chicago’s values, or so said the mayor.  So we jumped in the drive through line, which was fortunately a ton shorter than the line of people wrapped around the building waiting to enter the restaurant.  Because Chick-fil-A’s values are our values, and we happen to think that religious persecution is wrong.  But it was still long enough of a wait to push B over her tipping point.  She started screaming (you can see her little unhappy face above) and wailing and kicking and pinching and pulling hair.  It was not pretty.  So we popped her out of her carseat so she could sit with me while we were in the drive through line.  And that’s when we discovered that she was swimming in pee. 

Begin the ridiculous mom moment now.  You know the ones, those moments that are just so far out of whack with any scenario you ever imagined you could find yourself in during motherhood.  The moments that seem so completely absurd to everyone who is not a parent, and so completely understandable to everyone who is.

Like when you stick your hand out to catch whatever disgusting mess of food your kid is spitting out.  Or when you have to deal with squishy, leaking poop in a public setting.  Or when you pretend you can’t smell the spit up on your dress for three hours while you’re at church because what else can you do?  Or when you yell at your child to STOP YELLING! because you think that your ears will actually start bleeding if you have to listen to their yelling any longer.  Or when you discover a several week old cheese stick that your toddler stuffed down the vacuum tube and it doesn’t even phase you.  Or when you just eat the soggy, mutilated, half-eaten cracker because it’s the easiest way to dispose of it.

Motherhood is full of those ridiculous moments.  And my latest one came along in the drive through at some Kentucky Chick-fil-A.  I had a pee soaked tantruming toddler in my lap.  We had already ordered our food and were slowly creeping closer to the window where a shiny, smiling teenager was waiting to give us our dinner.  I knew she would not appreciate this ridiculous mom moment.  I wrestled B into a laying position on my lap so I could try to change her bum before we got to the food window.  B tried to make that as difficult as possible by screaming and flailing around.  And each of the other kids seemed to have a burning question that they had to ask me at that exact moment.  And there were throngs of people walking around everywhere trying to buy some ‘chikin’ for dinner.  And both dogs were barking loudly at those throngs of people.  And Shaggy was urging me to hurry up as he drove forward.  And I was praying that no Kentucky copper was going to happen along and see the thrashing arms and legs of an extremely unhappy toddler up in the front seat of the vehicle.  I did not want to have to try to explain this moment to anyone, really.  Living through it was challenging enough.

Miraculously, when we got to the food window, we were all buckled securely in our proper seats, though one of us was missing pants.  It seemed like a very loooong moment, but in reality it was pretty fast.  I really don’t know how they were able to keep up with the demand while still honoring the whole fast food thing.  

As we neared the hotel, it took us a while to figure out why the streets had such strange names here in Lexington, Kentucky.  Pink Pidgeon Parkway.  Man O’ War Boulevard.  It’s because this is horse country and these race horses are their heroes.

I didn’t have the energy to withstand the kids and their whining about going swimming, even though it was rather late.  So I made Shaggy take them all down to the pool while I wrestled B into bed and then collapsed onto my bed and flipped channels.  I didn’t even have the energy to feel frustrated by the complete lack of decent programs.  I do not miss cable.  Not one little bit. 

I am so very glad we are nearing the end of our journey; that the driving is almost entirely behind us.  But we’re not quite there yet, so we’re stuck waiting to see what tomorrow brings.  

1 comment:

Kendal-Sjanne Lofley said...

Wow! What a chick fil of a story.. I love that place and now every time I go there I will laugh a little, and double check to make sure my babe has her pants on. Thanks for the totally honest truth about motherhood. We all do it, but it's much harder trying to pretend that we don't. Thanks again for the smile.