And before I get into anything else, I must report on how we got here.
First you must know this:
I am a lightweight when it comes to driving. I don’t like it one bit. Even driving to our neighboring town in the desert to visit family throws me for a loop. I do realize I am completely wimpy. The only reason I can bear carpools is because I get my kids enclosed in the car with me and I can talk their ears off if I want to (and listen to them interact with their friends which, in my mind, is priceless).
But if I try to drive any type of long distance, my eyes instantly start to droop and it’s all I can do to keep them propped open.
So I have to report that I did my first real road trip alone with all the kids over the past two days and we all lived to tell about it. Dave had to hustle back to work after our California 4th of July trip (more on that later), but he drove us as far as Las Vegas en route to our annual July Bear Lake trip. He was hesitant to let us drive the rest of the way without him (especially with Lucy who he has refused to drive with following some incredibly awful trips a while back), but I promised I’d be slow, wouldn’t drive late into the night, blah blah blah, so that he could get back and get some work done before he comes up in a couple days for our reunion and then leaves for China again.
Let me reiterate that I KNOW that there are moms out there who do this long distance driving thing all the time. They can do particular routes practically blindfolded and they can drive all night if they need to. I honor those women! And quite honestly, in the back of my mind, I think I really should buck up and be one of them. After all, I love traveling so much that if I had the choice between living in one place forever or traveling all over the world and living out of a suitcase forever I’d pick the traveling in a heartbeat, even with five kids in tow.
But driving has always been Dave’s deal. He gets us safely where we want to go. And I’ve always been thankful as can be about that.
As we pulled up to the airport to drop Dave off I literally got sick to my stomach thinking of the long drive ahead of us (of course, I didn’t tell Dave that…he was worried enough already).
But I’m so happy to say that we actually had fun. I feel like I know my kids ten times better than I did before. Yes, there was some fighting…even some kicking. Yes, there was some ketchup spilled in the car. Yes, there were some ear-splitting screams from Lucy.
But there was also the ancestor stories I got to tell my captive audience. And some good learning with our “Mike-and-Ike” game. (Sometimes Dave and I will let the kids take turns answering a bunch of questions…things from our extended families’ names and ages, math facts, how to spell hard words, etc., and give those who can answer correctly a Mike-and-Ike…works for hours.)
- The fact that we got a really bad flat tire before Dave left, and that he and Max were able to have some serious bonding changing it before Dave raced to catch his flight.
Elle’s willingness to sit next to the monster (ooops, I mean Lucy) and keep her endlessly entertained even when she was met with some serious attitude.
Fields colored in endless variations of green stretched out on both sides of the road with sprinklers shooting out at haphazard angles catching the sunlight just right to take your breath away (I’m sorry, but Utah is gorgeous).
Red rock mountains
Logan Canyon…are you kidding me? That place is so breath-taking I could hardly stand it. It’s a good thing there were bugs splattered all across my windshield so I wasn’t tempted to take pictures along the way.
- Silhouettes of mountains in varying shades of gray in the distance made hazy with the afternoon sun.
- Brilliant, velvet green stretching half way up the majestic mountains along the way.
Maybe I will buck up and be one of those long-distance driving moms after all.
But until then, we’ll soak in this beautiful place that this road trip got us to.