...and I won't be twenty years younger... and we won't have a canoe, or a lake... or blonde kids at all, but otherwise, this image uncannily depicts the adventure we are about to embark on!
We have taken road trips to SoCal for Spring Break FOR OVER TEN YEARS, and I have a confession to make - don't hate me for this, but I LOVE THESE TRIPS.
I love the mess in the van (which if you know me, makes no sense at all, which means I am really lying, but that's not true, either - so what I mean to say is that I like the memory of the mess AFTER it's all over) and I'm not just talking about the fast food debris strewn everywhere, the toy explosion, or the finger/handprints on the windows and siblings faces.
I love the mess of my family crammed into a minivan filled with happiness, sadness, frustration, excitement, anticipation, love, anger, fun, and small bladders, for over 20 hours.
It is a petri dish of our life; a microcosm of who we are as family. And it really is beautiful.
And even though someone always melts down, and by someone, I mean me, I still love it. So I've decided to record our adventure here, for my pleasure and your enjoyment.
My husband seems so excited about getting started! He got up early, before everyone else, showered... and then went to work to wrap up a few things.
Joe is always late to everything, and no one is excited to be waiting for him to return so we can leave for Q March Madness. My eldest daughter, high school freshman, has threatened him that we are leaving at 10am, with or without him. She is so cute! She does not know, as I do after 22 years, that those threats are meaningless. So we are aiming to leave at 10am, which in Joe standard time, is 2pm, give or take a couple of hours.
This is the first year I only had to pack for one kid, Youngest. I put all his "outfits" (which is a silly thing to call boys clothes, which consist only of basketball shorts and t-shirts - plus clean underwear and socks - so maybe I should call his clothes "uniforms") in a separate ziplock bag, so I don't have to hear "Mommy, I can't find any socks! Mommy, there wasn't any clean underwear!" every day for the next week. He just grabs a bag, gets dressed, and THEN loses his pajamas.
Middle girls packed for themselves, and they almost always imagine SoCal as a sun drenched, beach filled heaven, so I when I started ranting about the forecast including clouds and mid-sixties temperatures, they probably rushed back to their bags to pack warmer things... NOT. Shivering, pale white, Portland bodies on an empty spring beach is ALWAYS entertaining to native Californians, who themselves are bundled up to face the 60 degrees in parkas and Ughs.
And Eldest, our College Kid, is getting picked up on the way to join in the fun. And he misses us so much, that he is excited about our annual Road Trip, too! I'm sure his excitement will last at least 3 minutes. We might want to start a March Madness bracket for exactly when each family member decides this road trip was a horrible mistake. Who will be the first to fall?
Stay tuned. My coffee is cold, the house is quiet, and I'm ready to do my second pass at my packing. I need to take out most of my "outfits" (which I wish I could organize into baggies) because I am an "overpacker", and I usually just end up wearing sweats the whole time, who am I trying to kid? Yoga pants, then sweats, then pj pants.
It's my vacation, too.